War and Peace Book Club discussion


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message 1: by brian (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:40PM) (new)

brian   i just hit page 900. the end is in sight. it's bloody and tortured. but it's there.

anyone else? progress? any thoughts? questions?

i don't wanna drop any spoilers, so gonna wait and see where the rest of y'all are at...

and, yeah, in case you're wondering. this book really is that good.

message 2: by Kimley (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:40PM) (new)

Kimley Ah, I spent a good chunk of today finally getting myself ensconced in this crazy book. Unfortunately, I really only just started so I'm only on part two of volume one - the Austrian front.

But I'm already amazed at the expansiveness of this book and how he parallels the milieu of "society" with the world of war. For example, I loved the paragraph where he talked about those moments right before dining at the Rostovs (pg. 60 in the P&V translation) - the anticipation and impatience. Then when the battle finally begins (pg. 144) there is a very similar description - a similar "irritation and excitement". A dinner party, a war - it's all survival of the fittest!

This book has so much going on that it's fairly intimidating to even begin discussing it.

Has anyone been following along with the NY Times blog? I've glanced at it and it looks like they've been having some pretty interesting discussions. I'm going to check it out more thoroughly once I get further along.

message 3: by brian (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:40PM) (new)

brian   i've tried to take note of parallels b/t the 'war' sections and the 'peace sections' as well, kimley.

later in the book tolstoy goes off on some pretty amazing ruminations on the philosophy of history... he compares the 'great man' theory (great men alter history) to, as i put it, the 'hive mind' theory (society and the tides of History move toward an inevitability that no man can alter)...

one sees this at work on the macro level in the 'war' sections and on the micro leve in the 'peace' sections.

we'll discuss as you move further into the book...

message 4: by Kimley (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:41PM) (new)

Kimley Yes, Brian, I am still very much in the "anticipatory" section of the book - much like the aforementioned dinner party and battle scene. I'm eager to get to the action but am also enjoying these initial bits of introduction.

I'm especially curious to see what Tolstoy does with the clearly flawed but obviously admirable Pierre - will he make good, will he be a total fuck-up? I can't wait to find out!

Brian, I wonder if it might not be a good idea to make discussion topics for the different volumes then we can post things that won't have any spoilers.

message 5: by brian (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:41PM) (new)

brian   that's a great idea, actually.

a new rule, i think, should be:

start a new thread with the approximate page number regarding what you're posting about.

that way there are no spoilers and people who have questions and/or comments about specific things know which thread to jump into...

thanks kimley. now get reading... and trust me: pierre's journey doesn't disappoint!

message 6: by Kimley (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:44PM) (new)

Kimley Brian - a propos of the individual vs. "hive mind" theory:

An interesting article in the NY Times -
From Ants to People, an Instinct to Swarm


I wonder what Tolstoy would have thought of this???

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