Sunday, December 1, 2013
War and Peace: Volume IV, Parts Three and Four
This was a tough section for me-it's really not that long but there was a lot about war as well as history (as Amy reminded me at the last section "HE WANTS TO MAKE SURE WE GET IT.") Gosh it was so boring. I wanted wrap-ups on the characters, not more of Tolstoy's ponderous proclamations.
So let's talk about what I liked the most. It seems as if Pierre and Natasha will get married-yay! I've been rooting for them for quite a while now. Natasha's brother dies and for a while I thought he was the one who loved Princess Marya but apparently not. Nikolai lives but I'm not really sure what he's up to.
I also liked the portrayal of Kutuzov and his clear eyed view of what the Russian army ought to do; that is, they should not pursue the French out of Russia but should merely encourage them to leave as fast as possible. If a historian decides that the aim of the Russian army is to destroy the French, then he might conclude that the Russian side failed. If, however, the historian evaluates against the criteria Kutuzov held for them, he would see victory because the French were got out of Russia and with minimal loss of Russian life through battle wherever Kutuzov could prevent it. Bummer to read about his death, I tell you what!
But I felt like the bulk of the story was Tolstoy sharing his philosophical thoughts about history and war and the human spirit, etc. It's a lot of what we've already heard, er read and it's dull.
What I've heard about the next part aka our last section (!) is that there are two epilogues. One is a more traditional one sharing more about the future fate of our characters while the other is more of Tolstoy's ramblings. I expect it will try my patience to finish that section but it will be *SO* worth it to say that I've read War and Peace!