Wednesday, February 17, 2010

War and Peace

I'm reading Tolstoy's War and Peace. I wonder to myself, why did I wait so long to start reading this book since I've had it on my bookshelf  for at least thirty years? Maybe I was just overwhelmed by the reputation that precedes the name Tolstoy or maybe I thought it would be too difficult to grasp. I really imagined it to be a long and tedious book. I couldn't have been more wrong. Maybe I associated Tolstoy too much with his contemporary Dostoyevsky.Having read many Dostoyevsky books I found them excruciatingly painful to read, there is no pleasure in dwelling on Dostoyevsky's  dismal, pathetic and and incredibly flawed characters who deserve sympathy but only draw disgust and contempt. That's not to include the main character of the Idiot in such sweeping generalizations.
I find Tolstoy easy to read as the language and narration move along effortlessly, the characters interesting and not the least contemptible.
The battle scenes convey the confusion and dissarray of war that is the hallmark of many contermporary, cutting edge movies that try to show war without heroics and misty eyed romanticism. Hey guys, Tolstoy did it a long time ago.
I could say more but I'm only 1/4 of the way through.
So, for those of you who haven't read Tolstoy, don't be like me and deny yourselves the pleasure for too long.
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Jeannie said...

I read the book in high school. Don't remember a thing except a guy on a bridge at some point which might be a faulty memory. I wasn't much into required reading - or anything else mandatory at that age.

Anonymous said...

I own it, but like many, many other books it sits on my shelf just begging for my attention.

Anonymous said...

This ought to keep you busy for a while... ;-)

(((Thought Criminal))) said...

French bad, Russians good, the end.