War And Peace Discussion discussion

War and Peace

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message 1: by Norm (new)

Norm Rourke | 3 comments OK, here I go again with struggle over whether I'll live long enough to read (and finish!) this classic (I'm almost as old as the book!). Have had several...MANY!...false starts but still have a hankering to do it. As I read others comments on this book, there seems to be major concern about translation. Is that really a big deal (as long as it's credible and not some funky off the wall thing)? Give me encouragement, give me a shout out, give me a kick in the pants, give me hope. Thanks.

message 2: by tiger (new)

tiger lily (seahorsebunny) | 6 comments Mod
Hey there! I'm reading the translation by Louise and Aylmer Maude. This is the first time I have read War & Peace; I'm just over half-way through and already know this will surely be a lifelong favorite. The "Maude" version is the one which received approval from Tolstoy himself, though I've heard a lot of great things about the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation, (people really seem to rave about theirs), so that might be worth checking out, though it has footnotes, which can make it a chore to read for some.

Either way, I hope you finally take the plunge and give it a go! It's worth it! I hope you enjoy whichever one you end up choosing. :)

message 3: by Jane (new)

Jane (janekc) | 4 comments I'm reading the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation and I have to say I'm raving about it too. I tend to ignore the historical footnotes and only follow up on the ones that interest me. But! I find the language translations at the bottom of the page really useful. (This may not be every edition though?) Flicking to the back every time they start speaking French would be exhausting haha.

message 4: by Norm (new)

Norm Rourke | 3 comments Thank you both. Yes the French language portions bothered me (see, I did get into it to encounter this). Perhaps one shouldn't worry so much about which translation and just enjoy the book. You've given me the urge to pursue it. Means I'll have to quit making excuses... almost as many as politicians lie!

message 5: by tiger (new)

tiger lily (seahorsebunny) | 6 comments Mod
Just in case you're still undecided, this video on translations of W&P might be worth checking out -

message 6: by Norm (new)

Norm Rourke | 3 comments I've taken the plunge. Book on its way. But not until I finish Evangeline... for the umpteenth time

message 7: by tiger (new)

tiger lily (seahorsebunny) | 6 comments Mod
Awesome! :D I hope you have a great read!

message 8: by Jane (new)

Jane (janekc) | 4 comments I've finished the book now and i feel accomplished haha. i wish you both good luck!

message 9: by Ellen (new)

Ellen Jones | 1 comments My name is Ellen. I finished reading 'War and Peace' and now started reading 'Anna Karenina'. I have had problems connecting with my friends with these books and have decided to expand to the internet to find people to talk to about them. Thank you.

message 10: by tiger (new)

tiger lily (seahorsebunny) | 6 comments Mod
Welcome Ellen! So happy to have you here. :) I am in the same boat as you, (perhaps the biggest reason I wanted to make this group). These books can feel like a big part of your life, and it can feel deflating not having many people to share these amazing things with. Happy to have you here! <3

message 11: by Jane (new)

Jane (janekc) | 4 comments I'm always glad to get a notification from this group. Did you read War and Peace recently? If so, it's impressive that you've jumped straight into Anna Karenina! I bought it immediately after because I know I want to read it, but it's chunky haha. I think it will be a few months yet before I'm ready to read another Tolstoy.

message 12: by Bill (new)

Bill Moon | 1 comments I have now read almost 1100 pages of the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation. Because we lived in France for many years, I am able to read and appreciate the many texts in French. The book is fascinating, inspiring and challenging beyond my expectations. In my recent readings, I have come to the last scenes between Pierre and Platon Karataev. The simplicity and goodness of Karataev and his influence on Pierre are palpable. At the end of Chapter XIX of Volume 4, Part Three, the narrator sums up Napoleon's (and the other generals') sense of their sublimity but adds "And it never enters anyone's head that the recognition of a greatness not measurable by the measure of good and bad is only a recognition of one's own insignificance and immseasurable littleness." Then the narrator seems to refer to the previous scenes between Pierre and Karataev in the last sentence of the chapter: "And there is no greatness where there is no simplicity, goodness and truth."

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