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War and Peace
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Archived 2015 Group Reads > War and Peace, Week 14

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Zulfiya (ztrotter) Guys, it looks like we are currently experiencing problems moderating this read. I personally read this novel a couple of times, so I am skipping this one with the group, but I will be posting thread for the group discussion. Is there anyone who would like to get the baton from E :) and start posting discussion questions because I will be able to post the most general questions and not the specific ones?

Please let me know either here or PM me.

message 2: by Hilary (new) - added it

Hilary (agapoyesoun) Zulfiya, discussion threads are perfectly adequate. As I see it there is no need for indepth discussion on behalf of the moderators. Thank you for taking an interest as you are not duty-bound to do so in any way!

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Hilary (agapoyesoun) Does anyone happen to know what part or book this week is in the Maude translation? My paper copy is Maude and my Kindle divides it up differently. I don't wish to risk commenting on the wrong section. Thanks. :-)

SusanK Hilary, I don't have Maude (Briggs in paper and Edmonds/Penguin on Kindle) but the section starts with Nicholai returning home on leave at parental request, proceeds through hunting and Christmas and ends with him returning to the regiment and the old Count Rostov taking the girls to Moscow.
Hope this helps.

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Hilary (agapoyesoun) Thanks SusanK! That's very helpful. Thanks so
much! :-)

Renee M The hunting of the wolves was both terrifying and exhilarating. I kept thinking of that story from Willa Cather where a wolf pack chases a bridal party. *shivers*

I can't decide what I think of Nicholai. Perhaps because the portrait is realistic. Once again I'm struck by how young all the young people seem. Full of sweetness and selfishness and arrogance and indecision and crazy headlong thoughtlessness. And emotion! Gah! I'll bet that reading this as a teen was devastating.

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Hilary (agapoyesoun) I agree, Renee, that the hunting was exhilarating. I also found myself physically hurting at the killing of the wolf. It was so vivid. Then as if that wasn't enough there were the fox and hare to be chased also. I found myself getting angry with their aristocratic sense of fun. I mentioned my reaction to my husband who read this some months back and he said that he'd had no such reaction because of the era and location in which it was written; and he's been vegetarian for a year! The animals' fear is what really got me.

SusanK I enjoyed this section with Tolstoy's depiction of country life. It has the feel of the past, even for his time. The hunting and the Borzoi dogs, the description of "Uncle's" rustic home and "housekeeper", the Christmas traditions of the mummers. And the sledges racing through the snow at night. Couldn't you almost smell the cold and the snow? I wondered if they would crash at the high speeds.

It also reminded me of similar scenes in Anna Karenina. Probably an idealized portrait of his experiences, but lovely to read.

SusanK I got a chuckle out of Tolstoy's zinger at the end of one chapter: "The Rostovs' was not a happy household". That's putting it mildly.

Here, though, I thought Natasha got a bit more heft to her character. Spoiled daughter ordering the servants about, absolutely. But she also genuinely loves her brother. She has (evidently) a world class voice and an inborn understanding of the Russian arts. Interesting that her mother perceives something in her voice that tells her that Natasha will always be searching and never be happy. Sad, that. Depressed, bored, and missing her fiance, can that relationship last?

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Hilary (agapoyesoun) Can their relationship last? I wouldn't be opening a book on it any time soon. :D

message 11: by Bonnie (last edited May 06, 2015 08:33AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bonnie Week 14
Volume II / Part 4 / Chapters 1-13
Book 7 / Chapters 1-13

1. Idleness. Nikolai goes home on leave. He has doubts about Natasha's engagement.
2. Nikolai confronts the steward Mintenka.
3. Nikolai decides to go hunting; Natasha and Petya insist on joining.
4. The Wolf Hunt begins.
5. The wolf is caught.
6. Neighbor Ilagin's courtesy. Triumph of Uncle's dog, Rugai.
7. An evening at Uncle's. Balalaika playing. Natasha's Russian dancing.
8. Countess Rostov wants Nikolai to marry Julie Karagin; he doesn't want to marry for money. She nags Sonya. Natasha lonely. "Things were not cheerful in the Rostovs' house."
9. Christmas at Otradnoye. Natasha is bored and depressed.
10. The Rostov children reminisce. Mummers and costumes. Troika ride to the Melyukovs.
11. At the Melyukovs. Fortune-telling out by the barn. Cross-dressing and kissing.
12. Nikolai and Sonya in love. Natasha and Sonya try their fate with mirrors.
13. Nikolai's marriage to Sonya is opposed. Nikolai goes back to his regiment. Natasha waits impatiently for Prince Andrei and his letters annoy her. Countess Rostov ill; the Count, Natasha and Sonya will to go to Moscow.

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Hilary (agapoyesoun) Thanks Bonnie for such an incisive summary!

message 13: by Emu (new)

Emu I found the wolf hunt really beautifully written.

Strange how Nikolai sees himself as the hunter, but yet again the aristocracy has people to do their work

Renee M Yes. It was a very interesting scene. It felt like such a slice of aristocratic Russia. Even more so than the salons and balls because you had them all across Europe. But the hunting of wolves seems so unique.

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