Reading for Monday, 23 February

The madness continues in this chapter.  Rastopchin, rather than dealing in any military way with the threat of invasion, has taken to punishing individuals and groups that are unpatriotic.  (Hmm . . . we wouldn’t be like that nowadays, would we?)  So Pierre gets a warning as a Mason and various individuals are targeted.

But for me, the highlight of this chapter is the end.  In the kind of circumstance that could only happen in the middle of a war – Pierre decides to make a mad dash out into the streets.  This is not just simply leaving his house.  This is leaving behind the aristocracy, and all its hypocrisy and conventions.

This, my friends, is the equivalent of Truman Burbank breaking out of the TV studio in The Truman Show.  And it’s also the beginning of Pierre’s odyssey through the tail end of this book.

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3 thoughts on “One-Year War and Peace 11.11 – Paranoia

  1. Yes, it truly is an incredible ending to this chapter – Pierre slipping, it seems, almost into anonymity, away from everything. It is so lke Tolstoy, I think, to write this in such a way that the trigger for this is really something relatively minor, or at least something relatively tangential to the rest of the story – the incident with Rastopchin. It’s all the more reason why it makes sense to me that, in the previous chapter, the actual details of the incident with the fake proclamation and then, in this chapter, the question of Klyucharev’s role in it all, is all so vague and confused.

    Incidentally, the Pevear/Volokhonsky footnote for this chapter says that Klyucharev was a Mason who aroused Rastopchin’s suspcions because he interceded for Vereshchagin, who was a friend of his son, but was in fact totally innocent of any involvement in the affair of the fake proclamation.

  2. Hello. can I join in? I couldn’t think of much more to say about this chapter, but I’ve added comments on some of the earlier ones. War and Peace = the world’s greatest novel.

  3. Hi Caroline . . .

    Nice to see another W & P fan here.

    Yes, I’m now convinced – it truly is the world’s greatest novel.

    I’m writing right now, so I’m taking a few days break from my studies on Book 11.

    But I’m keeping up with the blog here.

    There’s an ongoing discussion at Reading Group Guides too . . . some of the other members there are finished with the book – even though I was the leader, I’ve lagged behind and am still in book 11.

    Click here to see that discussion too:

    http://readinggroupguidesboard.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/7601020421/m/7051031513

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