First of all, an update for everybody who wants to know about the little fellow at home – he’s doing very well, becoming increasingly cuter by the day – but he’s also gradually depriving us of sleep day by day. It all passes, but last night in particular was horrendous . . . ah well, that’s what parental love and affection is all about.
And in this chapter, we see Tolstoy talking about what being Russian is all about – as he describes to us the Russian of Russians being made obsolete.
It’s interesting, however, that Tolstoy sees Kutuzov as being the general that Russia needed at the time to repel the French, but he was not the general to attack outside Russia. There are people like that – they’re suitable for a particular time and place but not for something else.
Either way, I thought the last major death of War and Peace was Petya Rostov – but I was wrong. This chapter here is really the ultimate death in the chapter (as much as one character can be said to be more important than another in Tolstoy’s philosophy), even if it’s only conveyed in a few words.