Daily Archives: April 10, 2016

96% done with War and Peace


I thought of the misogyny because here at the end of the novel he is fair to everyone. He shows all their sins and graces side by side because he has finally assembled, by the end, a collection of good people. None of them are stupid, but they are also imperfect like all people. Pierre is considered apart by little Nicholas (the warning of worship is here) but Tolstoy does not criticize this family.

96% done with War and Peace


I started thinking about the criticism of Tolstoy and his view of women. He’s been accused of being a misogynist and I also tend to think he might have been one, but above that I think he just didn’t like stupid people. The novel is filled with his contempt for Napoleon, the generals, the government, and silly men who do stupid things, so why can’t he also criticize women who do idiotic things. All’s fair.

96% done with War and Peace


“You ought not to have been here at all,” There’s a double meaning here in what Nicholas says to his nephew. One meaning is that the boy really shouldn’t be exposed to the radical ideas being spoken of (it’s dangerous), but also had Andrei lived the boy really would not have been there, and maybe there is some resentment, some reminder of that man whom he didn’t get along with in life.

96% done with War and Peace


Anna Makarovna’s trick for knitting two stockings at the same time – one inside the other and them pulling them apart – represents the whole family and its generations, as well as all of society. The government is changing (for the worse in this case) born of intrigue and mistrust, and the old are passing the responsibility of the family on to the young: just as one event is tied to a million others.

95% done with War and Peace


Tolstoy does not paint a rosy picture of what it will be like to be old. Andrei’s father went mad, The old count was embittered and died ashamed, Pierre’s father (lion that he was) had a stroke. And the Countess played her part and is relegated to go on living onlu because her body insists on it, and not because she has any reason to.

The glances the young people make about her are for us someday, too.