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.

3 thoughts on “One-Year War and Peace 15.11 – Death of Kutuzov

  1. Terrific news, Matt, that young Jackson is coming along so well – the sleepless nights notwithstanding! I remember a friend once telling me that she didn’t think she had had more than two hours of uninterrupted sleep in something like two years – and yet, even so, her unbridled joy in her two little children was still without limit. I just love watching young babies and their amazing journey into the world – discovering everything for the first time, making such unique sense of all the many, many strange things around them.

    But then today, of course, War and Peace took us to the other end of life with the death of Kutuzov. It was certainly a sad, pathetic picture of his decline, politely being given nothing to do, a tokenistic decoration. The sadness, the emptiness, of those last lines in this chapter was truly heart-wrenching, I thought and I can’t help but think that even Tolstoy probably shed a tear or two as he wrote them. After all, given the way in which Tolstoy identified Kutuzov so closely with the essence of the Russian people, how could he, or we, feel anything but immense sorrow for his loss?

  2. Can I give some advice? A spoonful of pablum before the final feed before midnight? That might give you a night’s rest.

    Maybe you could check that out with a midwife or the doctor, but I found that a useful trick with my two girls when they were babies.

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