Reading for Sunday, 11 January

In a very Forrest Gump-style cameo, Tolstoy takes a historical reference to a simple Russian Cossack meeting Napoleon and not realising who it is, and completely undermines it by casting Lavrushka, Nikolai’s sneaky servant, as the the Cossack.

I won’t say any more, because it’s too much fun to spoil.  But I thought this was an amusing chapter.

4 thoughts on “One-Year War and Peace 10.7 – Lavrushka and Napoleon

  1. Yes, this chapter really was a classic – although, in my edition, it is very clear that Lavrushka really does know that it is Napoleon, but just pretends not to, so he can get away with insulting him and the French a little more easily. And then there’s the translator who doesn’t translate Lavrushka’s more offensive remarks, and it ends up with all these deceptions and deceptions of deceptions so, by the end of it, I don’t think anyone really knows what anyone really thinks. It was another chapter where the Pevear/Volokhonsky practice of leaving all the French as French worked really well, and just helped add to the crazy confusion of this Chapter.

    And yes, I’m with Carly – what happened to 10.5 and 10.6?

  2. Well, when it all came down, Napoleon seemed to like him – I wonder what the gift was? He gave him a gift and let him go . . .

    I think Napoleon recognized that Lavruska is the kind of guy that can be bought and sold in the space of 20 minutes.

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