Daily Archives: April 8, 2016

94% done with War and Peace


Nicholas is Tolstoy’s thesis in action. Unlike some “great man”, Nicholas does the right thing without conceit and for the benefit of others, though sternly and not in some poetic manner. He is the type of leader Tolstoy believes in, someone who works hard, works humbly, and is fruitful and shares in that bounty, though not indulgently. If the world ran like Nicholas’ Bald Hills the world would be fine.

93% done with War and Peace


Of all the relationships in the novel, Maria’s and Nicholas’ is the most real. Of all the changes we see Pierre and Natasha go through, somehow we actually live the changes that Maria and Nicholas go through. Both are sensitive people, both have hid themselves away either through family or career, both are proud and sacrificing – they are the true Russian people (all people) of the novel.

93% done with War and Peace


I think it’s important not to feel sorry for the Rostov’s after the death of the Count. They had all lived so well, so happily and on so much credit that this “poverty” is deserved. Living within ones means is a virtue, too and now Nicholas is learning that lesson. His pride, however, his stubbornness is just as bad and he could save himself much misery by not indulging his mother and by asking Pierre for $

93% done with War and Peace


“See what you believed in! This is he! Do you now see that it was not he but I who moved you?”

“The higher the human intellect rises in the discovery of these purposes, the more obvious it becomes, that the ultimate purpose is beyond our comprehension.”

Chance and opportunity. How many bees were not successful? How many evolutionary dead-ends have there been?

93% done with War and Peace


Tolstoy briefly touches on an idea I find interesting and that is how the people around a “great person” will feed that narrative thus enabling the “great person” to go further and do more “great” things. These “great” people are very much at the mercy of the tide around them because they would be useless without help.

The golden parachute Napoleon is given still happens today with robber CEO’s. Maddening.

92% done with War and Peace


“If we admit that human life can be ruled by reason, the possibility of life is destroyed.”

Zweig, in his World of Yesterday described how Austrian society had been set up as a case-study of reason and logical structure and it all fell apart because it only included a small number of people who could enjoy it and angered everyone else who tore it all down, both for good and bad.

We live in similar times