In this chapter, Tolstoy gently reminds us how serious the war is, without actually having a battle scene.  What starts as a scene of politics, as the Austrian general tries to get Russian reinforcements for a battle he can’t admit they’re losing – all of a sudden becomes more serious as the Austrian General Mack arrives.

The heckling of the Austrians by the two Russians is a bit of an eye-opener.  It makes me wonder whether even back then, whether the seeds of the rivalry between the nations that was at its peak in WWII was present all the time.

In all of this, it is Andrei who reminds us that this is not a funny matter.  Lives are lost.   You may not particularly like another nation, you may not like their leaders – but somewhere out there, lives are lost.  I sometimes worry that war is taken a bit too lightly in our Western nations, but this highlights the seriousness of it all.

Oh, did anyone else think it was nice for Andrei finally to have cheered up, or was that just me?

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2 thoughts on “One-Year War and Peace – 2.3

  1. General Mack’s arrival becomes ‘more serious’? Well, I guess the reason he’s there and the message that he’s obviously blown it is serious in itself.

    But I found this scene hilarious – and that was without looking at the film clips from the Russian movie on You Tube.

    (Matt, do you know that on your blog for Chapter 2.2, you have it misnumbered? You have it reading as ‘1.2’, which isn’t so at all . . . mmm hmmm . . . just in case you didn’t know.

    It is on the ‘same page’ as the others though – that’s good.)

  2. A few more people introduced in this one . . .

    Austrian General – another one . . . Just as Prince Andrew met Nesvitski and Zherkov, there came toward them from the other end of the corridor, Strauch, an Austrian general who on Kutuzov’s staff in charge of the provisioning of the Russian army, and the member of the Hofkriegsrath who had arrived the previous evening.

    Francis – “All I can say, General, is that if the matter depended on my personal wishes, the will of His Majesty the Emperor Francis would have been fulfilled long ago.

    Hofkriegsrath – Austrian – Kutuzov and the Austrian member of the Hofkriegsrath were sitting at the table on which a plan was spread out.

    Kozlovski – “Excuse me, General,” interrupted Kutuzov, also turning to Prince Andrew. “Look here, my dear fellow, get from Kozlovski all the reports from our scouts.

    Nostitz – Here are two letters from Count Nostitz and here is one from His Highness the Archduke Ferdinand and here are these,” he said, handing him several papers, “make a neat memorandum in French out of all this, showing all the news we have had of the movements of the Austrian army, and then give it to his excellency.”

    Strauch – Just as Prince Andrew met Nesvitski and Zherkov, there came toward them from the other end of the corridor, Strauch, an Austrian general who on Kutuzov’s staff in charge of the provisioning of the Russian army, and the member of the Hofkriegsrath who had arrived the previous evening.

    My current count?

    130!

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