And here from the theoretical constraints on a general, we zoom in to Kutuzov as a character, surrounded by different parties, all arguing for different things – and knowing that the only thing that’s going to happen is that they have to abandon Moscow.

He knows that no matter what he orders, it’s going to happen, but there’s still the political game: do you want to be known as the general who gave in?

What I think is most interesting is listening to Kutuzov, trying to work out where it all went wrong? In very Tolstoy style, he can’t pin an exact moment or event that caused it . . .

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One thought on “One-Year War and Peace 11.3 – Deciding

  1. Like you, Matt, I couldn’t help but notice in this chapter how we see all the theoretical discussions of the past couple of chapters, about the infinite continuity of history, played out in Kutuzov’s inner turmoil about what it was that led to this point of the inevitable abandonment of Moscow.

    I’m sure I’ve commented on this before, but I am once again really noticing – largely thanks to this chapter-a-day approach – how well Tolstoy integrates the theoretical discussions with the story. It’s almost like a nineteenth century literary version of a DVD with lots of extras and an audio commentary!!

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