Reading for Wednesday, 4 February

This is one of those chapters where I feel like I could either rave for paragraphs about it or just let you read it for yourself.

It’s the quirky little details that bring this chapter alive, as the artillery men scuttle about their business, and the battle gets closer and closer.  It’s a subtle thing, but as soon as the artillery men decide that they can cope with Pierre hanging around (even if it’s just because he’s amusing), we instantly warm to them.  Which makes what happens to this particular artillery group all the more devastating . . .

2 thoughts on “One-Year War and Peace 10.31 – With the Artillery Men

  1. Yes, it’s another quite quirky look at the battle, and the war – little glimpses of the countless, nameless people who populate the battlefield. I was quite taken by the hysteria amongst the soldiers, laughing amidst the horror and carnage. It’s all just so tremendously graphic – you get such a sense of the wild, horrific chaos of it all, and the way Tolstoy keeps shifting from the big picture, to the little details, of what is happening on the field. It’s almost asif it was written for film, it’s so graphic, and so tense in the way it cuts from one scene to the next. Like you, Matt, there’s heaps that could be said about this chapter – but then ultimately all of it is just said in the chapter itself. But I think it’s the image of the horse, in the last line, that got me most of all and somehow to me epitomised the harshness of war, and what it does to innocent life. It’ a line, and an image, that I can almost not bear to think about.

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