Reading for Wednesday, 11 March

And now we finally find out what Pierre’s up to – he wants to assassinate Napoleon. If it was anybody else, I’d say they’d kind of gone crazy.

But for some reason, Pierre flits from one idea to another so often, this one seems perfectly logical. Take out Napoleon and solve the world’s problems. I think it’s just the way Tolstoy writes for Pierre. While Pierre gets all the crazy monologues and ideas, Tolstoy always treats him with the utmost compassion and lets his thoughts speak for themselves. Is Pierre naive? Of course. But is he contemptible? Never.

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3 thoughts on “One-Year War and Peace 11.27 – Assassin

  1. I guess this chapter kind of relates back to tha strange Da Vinci Code-esque chapter a few months ago, where Pierre convinced themself, by some rather circuitous logic, that his fate and Napoleon’s were inextricably linked. What is ironic here, too, is, if remember back to the very beginning of War and Peace, Pierre was the one so shamelessly defending Napoleon at Anna Pavlovna’s soiree. Now he sees himself destined to kill him.

    Not surprisingly, of course, Tolstoy gives us some incredible insights into Pierre’s motivations in all of this and, as always seems to happen when Tolstoy is describing something, even the bizarre can seem recognisable, and something that we can to some extent identify with. The comparison that Tolstoy makes between Pierre’s behaviour, and that of a man on a drunken binge, immediately links the extraordinary with the ordinary and suddenly everything that Pierre thinks and does seems, if not less bizarre, at least less foreign.

  2. It took me a long time to get to like Pierre – now, I’m so used to him, it feels like he’s lived next door to me all my life. But no – I couldn’t take him seriously on his plan to kill Napoleon:
    1) Pierre’s not a killer – not unless his back’s up against the wall;
    2) Also, we know he did NOT kill Napoleon, so that took the wind outta’ that chapter’s sails (for me, anyway).
    Just couldn’t take it seriously.

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