Reading for Thursday, 12 February
Sorry, I wrote this post on Thursday, but for some reason it never made it out of my drafts folder. Here it is:
And here we have the sun going down over Borodino, followed by a big-picture zoom out of Tolstoy’s philosophical view of things.
This book has been an unusual ride – philosphy, battle scenes, and human drama all mixed up together. I don’t think there’s been an author that has written like that before or since.
And clearly, Tolstoy considered this battle – while technically a draw – the turning point of the war. He spoils the history for the non-Russians by telling us that Napoleon goes on to take and then retreat from Moscow – but the point he makes is that this was when the wound could not be healed for the French. From this point on, they could keep going, but they were on the way down. The Russians had started to win.
What remains to be seen, however, is what this means in the life of these characters we know so well as the final epic event of this saga – the taking of Moscow – plays out over the final few books.
I look forward to your company in Book 11.