Moscow does sound a bit knocked around, doesn’t it? Being plundered by both the French and the Russians . . .

But there’s no pretending that wouldn’t happen in any Australian capital city if were invaded by someone else and then abandoned.

Still, it’s the image of the teeming but destroyed anthill gradually being repaired that is demonstrated here, and I think it works well. And in a (humourous?) sidenote in the last sentence, Count Rastoptchin is back to making posters . . . Obviously not too guilt-ridden after the bloodthirsty events he caused before leaving Moscow.

2 thoughts on “One-Year War and Peace 15.14 – The Restoration of Moscow

  1. I, too, couldn’t help but get a sense of a little black humour here, with the reference to Rastopchin. It’s as if everything is returning to normal – the good, the bad and the ugly.

    I was also impressed by the anthill metaphor, and then by the description of the different impact that looting had – decimating the city when it was done by the French, revitalising it when it was done by the Russians.

    No doubt, there’s a good deal of patriotic loyalty from Tolstoy here – but it makes a kind of sense, too. Moscow is, after all, the home for these people – and in a spiritual sense, as much as in a literal sense. Given the way that Tolstoy has portrayed the Russian people – so strong in their sense of collective identity – then it follows that even something like looting would, for them, inadvertently lead to the revitalising, and ultimately the rebuilding, of Moscow. It’s almost as if this looting was Moscow’s stimulus package…!!

  2. I imagine a lot of the people didn’t know what to believe anyway – all they had on their minds was getting through all the ruckus with their own skins intact.

    Guess they didn’t think too much about Rastopchin and whether he was truthful or wise.

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