Well, here we go – possibly one of the most bizarre duels ever fought.  I could describe it, but really – it’s such a short chapter, read it for yourself.

And who couldn’t help loving the twist at the end of the chapter? (Which again, really, is too good for me to describe – read the chapter yourself!)  This whole chapter is one of those great distinctively Tolstoy scenes that stand out.

See you tomorrow.


2 thoughts on “One-Year War and Peace 4.5 – The Duel

  1. Yep – it’s a superb chapter, that’s for sure. I guess the duel itself is yet another example of Tolstoy showing us how events unfold in their own way, not through the deeds or wills of individuals. But the whole description is amazing and, once again, the images Tolstoy paints are as vivid as they are original.

    Needless to say, the final bit, about Dolokhov, bought tears to my eyes. Everyone gets their bit of humanity when Tolstoy is the writer.

    It makes me wonder – and I will be on the lookout for this now – if there is even one of the many hundreds of characters in War and Peace with whom we can’t, at least in some small way, identify and for whom we don’t, at least to some small degree, sympathise.

  2. Actually, thanks, Ian – I forgot to mention the point about the events unfolding independent of the will of individuals. This was the bit where I think I start to disagree with Tolstoy (which doesn’t detract from my enjoyment of reading him).

    Tolstoy seems to have this theory that anything bad in life (like wars or duels) happen independent of human will and we get sucked into them.

    But, by the same token, it’s quite obvious that the reason there’s a duel going ahead is because two guys are being stubborn as mules. In the same way, wars start not because events propel people along, but because someone – whether it be a Napoleon or a Hitler – refuses to bend and starts to exert their will by force.

    Anyway, we can argue this further along . . .

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