Reading for Thursday, 16 April

Another beautifully written chapter, where the greatest drama is actually taking place, not externally in the actions of the characters, but internally, in Pierre’s head.

You could either read this as Pierre starting to crack under the pressure or as him coming to a realisation that despite what people do, you can control what you think and feel and strive for.

My favourite line is this one:

He was afraid; but he felt, too,that as that fatal force strove to crush him, there was growing up in his soul and gathering strength a force of life that was independent of it.


3 thoughts on “One-Year War and Peace 13.14 – A Prisoner?

  1. I think I felt a real coming together of themes and ideas here – and not at all a sense that Pierre was cracking up, even in that slightly bizarre scene where he laughs hysterically sitting beside the cart. He no longers sees individuals but a mass of people on the move, he takes refuge in an inner peace, an inner sense of life and its value, and even in a sense that the greatness of life is within him every bit as much as it is beyond him – all tese things, in a way have been part of Pierre’s journey, and of our journey with him, over the past several chapters. For me, its strongest moment was probably the final sentence when Pierre reflects on the way that all of reality is, in a sense, within him and so when he is locked up and imprisoned, it is not just a single person who is imprisoned, but a whole world – “And all this they’ve caught and put in a shed and boarded it up!”

  2. But don’t we all go through those changes from time to time? Each of us experiences those ‘peaceful’ moments that sometimes extend through whole days.

    Then there’s a change in the environment – could be some other person is introduced to the scene and we no longer feel that peace. We go right back to our complaining, negative selves.

    Until the next time, peace finds an opening in our hearts and minds. It is the peaceful times, we must remember, and use them to strengthen ourselves.

  3. Just a note of thanks, Matt. I discovered your blog a few months ago. It’s been a valuable companion as I’ve been slowly making my way through War and Peace in 2014-2015. The comments from Ian and Carly are dedicated counterpoints, as well. Kudos to all of you.

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