War and Peace - Week 6
I know everybody else seems to have got to the halfway point last week, but in my copy we passed it this week. Huzzah! I keep on saying this, but I honestly didn't think I would make it this far. This week's chapters were hardly inspiring though. Hmm. This probably wasn't helped by the fact that I've had a really bad cold since last Tuesday which has made my thinking a little bit foggy, so I'm actually kind of struggling to recall what happened in the book clearly, even though I finished the reading on Saturday. Oh well..
1) Honestly, by this point in the book (55% or so), do you think War & Peace could have been shorter or did it need to be this long?
It definitely could have been shorter. There are parts that I don't think anybody could really complain about being cut, like the boring hunting bit from a couple of weeks ago. I guess though with it being this length it does have something for everyone? Like the first chapter this week about why wars happen would be interesting if you liked philosophy, and the war bits in general would be interesting if you are interested in military tactics or how wars were fought then (this is the most interesting bit about the war parts for me - the way that people fought seems to be really radically different than how wars seem to work now. I am sure there are people who care more about the war stuff who hate when the novel goes into gossip/scandal mode, although those are my favourite bits!
2) Do you feel there's been another change in tone? Why do you think Tolstoy keeps doing this? Do you like it?
Hmm I'm not sure I'd say it's a change in tone, in that the book is kind of a bit all over the place tonally anyway. It's definitely different from last week, but we have had these kinds of chapters before. I know it took a lonnnng time to write the book, so I wonder if the shifts in tone throughout the book reflect the time in life that he wrote certain parts? Maybe! I like it when it shifts to a tone that I enjoy, haha.
3) Natasha. AAAAAAAAAND GO.
Natasha didn't really annoy me this week. Of all of the posts for last week that I saw, I seemed to be the least annoyed with her anyway, so I found her quite tolerable this week. And she apparently gave her family joy by being ill and giving them all something to do?? I think maybe everybody who is supposed to be good in this novel just has a massive martyr complex, it's weird. Anyway, she wasn't too bad although she obviously is still being quite selfish, but I think maybe she's taking the time to reflect on her actions and hopefully she'll end up being a better person?
4) Pierre has convinced himself (via numerology, obviously) that Napoleon is the Antichrist from The Book of Revelation. Is this in character for Pierre? How do you think he'll act on this?
Oh Pierre. He's so... gullible. And weird. I don't know. I think it is in character, as he did hear about the freemasons and immediately jumped on board with that, so yeah. I think he must just be really bored, so he just grabs onto whatever crazy thing floats his way. I don't know if he'll do anything about this! I bet it was just Tolstoy finding some book which mentions that at some point and going "YES! The novel definitely isn't long enough yet, now I have another weird tangent to go off on for no reason! Huzzah!". I did enjoy the way that Pierre played around with his name to get it to fit the pattern, and then was very pleased when it did even though what he did didn't actually make any sense. Oh Pierre.
Is anybody else thinking that now there are going to be two Rostovs off fighting, one of them is definitely either going to be horrifically injured, or die at some point soon? I have a theory about what is going to happen, so I am interested to see if I'm right. (I would write it here, but I hate spoilers myself, and I have read fan theories before that have actually turned out to be correct and I've ended up feeling disappointed. Mind you, I am REALLY BAD at predicting what is going to happen, even when it is apparently really really obvious to everyone else, so I'm probably wrong anyway!)
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I'm convinced that there will be some Rostov tragedy in the future! I was thinking this morning that for a book about war, it's been pretty light on the tragedy. I know that Lise died but that was different because Tolstoy didn't really seem to care about her and just sort of seemed to lose interest in writing about her downy lip rather than really focussing on it as something sad. So I'm expecting some bad times ahead.返信削除
I loved the Pierre numbers bit! The more I read about him, the less he annoys me and the more endearing I find his complete weirdness. Don't get me wrong, I'm not up for more Freemason chat but I'm not too sad about how prominent he seems to be becoming in the story.
It seems really likely doesn't it?? Poor Lise, she definitely deserved more than that.削除
I am also finding Pierre really entertaining - I find myself smiling whenever a Pierre heavy chapter comes around (even if it is just him thinking about Natasha). But yeah, less Freemasonry, more other Pierre weirdness :D
I keep on saying this, but I honestly didn't think I would make it this far. This week's chapters were hardly inspiring though.返信削除
I whole-heartedly agree with both of these statements.
I don't know. By ensuring there is something for everybody in this book, you're also ensuring that there's something for everybody to DISLIKE too. I feel like it could have been shorter, especially when he goes off on a hunting/freemason/numerology tangent. Plus, and I'm basing this on nothing AT ALL, but surely more people are interested in the scandal than the war parts?
I wonder if the shifts in tone throughout the book reflect the time in life that he wrote certain parts?
I was thinking much the same. I read somewhere that he'd just stumbled across some freemason documents when he wrote that part and he was away on a hunting expedition for those chapters... I do wish he was less easily influenced by his surroundings occasionally :p
"YES! The novel definitely isn't long enough yet, now I have another weird tangent to go off on for no reason! Huzzah!"
QUOTE OF THE WEEK.
Hehe that is definitely true. I find myself being overly negative sometimes so I'm trying to look more at the positive aspects of things. I know quite a few people who probably wouldn't care at all about the scandal and would love the war parts, but yeah. There probably isn't any need to have all of that in the same book, hehe. I don't mind the war bits as long as they actively involve characters I already know something about and care about in some way. I could happily get rid of most of the tangents though (although I have come to like Pierre so his weird obsessions can stay in I guess!)削除
I think maybe he could have done with having a much stricter editor (if he had an editor at all? Unsurprisingly, I have no idea how publishing in Russia worked at the time!), because he does need a bit more.. guidance in what is interesting and what should be cut! Oh well.
I wonder what the next random tangent he goes off on will be?! I'm so excited to find out!