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.

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2 thoughts on “One-Year War and Peace 10.39 – Close of Battle

  1. It’s been quite a book, Matt.

    I’ve already done some of Book 11, but am certainly looking forward to your comments on the chapters.

    Happy Valentine’s to you and your family!

  2. Yes, this certainly is an epic ending to an epic book (or “part”) with its larger-than-life descriptions of the great forces that are really at play here. I loved the way, in this Chapter, Tolstoy gives us his panorama of the battlefield, with all its horror and futility, but then moves onto tell us that this is all part of something grander and greater. It is all so very Russian – and, not surprisingly, made for some great cinematography at the end of the third part of the Bondarchuk film.

    Looking forwad to sharing the rest of the journey, with you, Matt, and you, Carly, and whoever else is on board!

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