my occasional musings on life, love, art, perfume ... what else is there?

1.26.2008

War & Peace

Jim has been reading Tolstoy's War & Peace since he received it as a birthday gift in November from his son's girlfriend.

He has read a chapter or two almost every night since (the book must be four inches thick) and then he comes downstairs and gives me the Cliff Note version of that night's reading, and we discuss it.
So, without all the work, I've been lucky enough to get a grasp of Tolstoy's fatalistic beliefs: we are all caught up in the inevitability of history, there is a God who permits us freewill within that inevitability but, ultimately, we have very little influence over event outcomes in our lives.
He's almost done with it. I'm going to miss Pierre and Natasha.

9 Comments:

Blogger Doug said...

There's still Anna Karenina to get through.

5:21 PM

 
Blogger ariel said...

As a teenager I started reading it and went through 3 books and stopped. However, I went through Anna Karenina easily. :-P

Tolstoy's the guy I love with my mind, my heart and with something I cannot name, this is an Eastern-European thing, you know. I'm so glad you mentioned Pierre, he was such a great man.

12:09 AM

 
Blogger ariel said...

Funny that the fat and jovial Pierre is played by Henry Fonda in the movie.

12:13 AM

 
Blogger Bela said...

Read it years ago (in French, of course - at the time). Pierre is such a darling. (True, Henry Fonda was miscast in the film.)

Isn't 'going through' the wrong word for something one enjoys?

7:44 AM

 
Blogger ariel said...

Bela, that's my English. I didn't mean to say it was a misery. I keep in mind that "go through" is for other occasions. :-)

1:46 PM

 
Blogger Bela said...

Oh, I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to criticize your English. I was talking more in general. 'Getting - or going - through' gives an impression of hard slog, doesn't it? And a lot of people do find those books heavy going.

I've been thinking a lot about the matter recently: how difficult it sometimes is to convince people that one actually enjoys those kinds of books.

2:01 PM

 
Blogger ariel said...

Bela, I am glad when I am taught. I am not attending any courses now, so you bloggers are my teachers. :-)

Yeah, funny the way we all enjoy different things and are so surprised at the fun of others.

11:58 AM

 
Blogger Nessa said...

Now that's a painless way to get through W & P.

5:50 PM

 
Blogger Dilettante said...

You've just reminded me I have Anna Karenina waiting to be read... :) Love Russian literature!

6:48 AM

 

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