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Group Reads Archive - 2012 > War and Peace-Book Three: 1805 (May 31-June 10)

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message 1: by D. A. (new)

D. A. | 34 comments Hi Gang!!!

As you can see, this topic is posted a few days after the conclusion of Book Two. An idea was shared with me to extend the dates of reading sections. This allows for more time for longer sections and it gives those who have recently finished Anna Karenina some time to catch up.

I am a long term member of my book club here in New York and am behind as I had to pause to read our selection this month. It is so good to see that there are people posting and making such GREAT comments.

Happy Reading!


message 2: by MMR. (new)

MMR. Great that you extended. Thanks!


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Yes, I'm hoping more readers will join meanwhile. I'm actually now in this part. Here's a question: what is wrong with Anatole? Is he really in love with his sister? (and is she in love with him?) I just don't even understand why Tolstoy added that! There is at least a scandal, and that’s why Anatole was sent away.

Then the next thing I can't understand is Pierre's reasoning of it. He thinks of all he had thought and heard about her might be true and again then thinks that it was impossible, that there would be something nasty, unnatural as it seemed to him, and dishonorable in this marriage and he was overwhelmed with terror that he might have bound himself in some way to do a thing obviously wrong, and not what he ought to do. But at the very time that he was expressing this to himself, in another part of his mind her image floated to the surface with all her womanly beauty.

Pierre is nothing like Levin so far (he is Tolstoy's autobiographical character in "Anna Karenina")Pierre is such a sympathetic character. He is too weak.


message 4: by dely (new)

dely | 340 comments This was the comment I had written in the wrong discussion (when I was not able to understand the difference between the different editions):

I am always more convinced that Tolstoj has put a little bit of him in Andrej. This because at the end of part 3 (book one) we find Andrej that begins to struggle between a life full of conceited glory and God. Not God as a person but I think more that he sees God in nature (and if I don't remember wrong it is a thought of Tolstoj).
In all the book one we see Andrej that thinks always at his glory and his career, determined to everything for the glory and at the end, when he is hurt (and admires the blue sky), he has a change inside himself and he begins to understand that in front of the immensity of Infinity everything is so small and meaningless; and he starts to dream about a simple life in his father's house in the countryside with his wife.
Tolstoj too had first a rich life and then he decided to live in a more simple way in contact with nature and helping the needy.

Poor Nikolaj Rostov :D He is rather endearing, he is so sweet and tender: he wants to behave like a brave and good soldier and then he has always a luck of courage. This makes him, in my opinion, such a tender and romantic guy.


Shanez wrote: "Yes, I'm hoping more readers will join meanwhile. I'm actually now in this part. Here's a question: what is wrong with Anatole? Is he really in love with his sister? (and is she in love with him?) ..."

Anatol is a rascal, a wretch, he has no moral values and is very selfish without worrying about the next. But he isn't in this way because he is a bad person; I think he is in this way because he is really stupid and superficial. Perhaps Tolstoj added this particular only to let us better know the two characters of Anatol and Héléne; they are both selfish and never care for the others. Perhaps it was so in the drawing rooms in Tolstoj's period and he wanted to pointed it out with these characters.

Pierre behaved really strange in that occasion. He knows that he doesn't love Héléne but however he wants to marry her; perhaps only for her beauty or because it was the right thing to do according to the others. In fact, if I don't remember wrong, Pierre says that from the gazes of the others he understood that he had to declare himself and everybody wanted that marriage. Yes, he seems so weak, he is neither able to take alone such an important decision.

PS: sorry if I write the names of the characters in the "Italian" way like I find them in the book. I hope it is nonetheless understandable. We also use to write Tolstoj and not Tolstoy but I don't think it is a problem.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

dely wrote: "Pierre behaved really strange in that occasion. He knows that he doesn't love Héléne but however he wants to marry her; perhaps only for her beauty or because it was the right thing to do according to the others. In fact, if I don't remember wrong, Pierre says that from the gazes of the others h..."

That too perhaps but I was just thinking, may be Tolstoy's Pierre is caught in temptations and desires. I kind a feel Pierre is a man who's going to learn everything the hard way. Truly now thinking about other significant characters including Andrey and Nikolay. It's like the novel is a collection of individual "growth novels".

As for who is more Tolstoy in the novel, I'm still going to go with Pierre, but I see your point with Andrey too but I have not read that far. Since I've seen the movie I know basically how it ends (I should've never watched it:) before reading) may be that's why I feel Pierre is more of Tolstoy, because of Pierre at the end. Then again movies are never completely matching the novels.

May be we are both correct, may be both Pierre and Andrei have parts of Tolstoy. In fact when we were reading "Anna K." we came to an agreement that both Levin and Anna are two sides of Tolstoy!


message 6: by dely (last edited Jun 08, 2012 07:35AM) (new)

dely | 340 comments I don't know a lot about Tolstoj's life; I have read only the brief introduction in my edition and so I came to know a little bit about him who was very rich but then decided to go to live in the countryside in contact with the nature and he wanted to live in a simple way; he had also some inner struggle with his faith. Nevertheless I had read somewhere (not in my introduction) that Pierre is Tolstoj's alter ego though till now it seems to me that Andrej has more of Tolstoj. But I haven't yet finished the book so I don't know how it will end and perhaps I will change opinion.
But it seems to me that both, Pierre and Andrej, are (both very rich) struggled between a simple and honest life with moral values and looking for God and a debauched life dedicated to vice (Pierre) and a life dedicated to the career (Andrej).
I have watched nearly one year ago the movie The last station who talks about Tolstoj's last year of life. It is a good movie!

I will watch War and Peace (the movie) as soon as I finish the book :D


message 7: by D. A. (new)

D. A. | 34 comments Shanez wrote: "Yes, I'm hoping more readers will join meanwhile. I'm actually now in this part. Here's a question: what is wrong with Anatole? Is he really in love with his sister? (and is she in love with him?) ..."

I agree about Pierre, however there is a slowness in both Pierre and Levin. It seems as if they are both just a step behind their society...a simpleton if you will.


message 8: by D. A. (new)

D. A. | 34 comments dely wrote: "This was the comment I had written in the wrong discussion (when I was not able to understand the difference between the different editions):

I am always more convinced that Tolstoj has put a litt..."


I found a little of both Pierre and Andrey in Tolstoy. Pierre has a simple focus, similar to Tolstoy. Andrey has a similar perspective to Tolstoy. It's as if both men are watching society as if on the outside looking in. Both are going through the motions reluctantly and finding somewhat extreme ventures for escape. Andre = War and Tolstoy = Tolstoyism (sp).


message 9: by D. A. (new)

D. A. | 34 comments For those who know very little of Tolstoy I recommend the movie: 'The Last Station'. It focuses on the last year of Tolstoy's life, which gives you a glimpse into the man and the author.

I too plan to watch 'War and Peace' after reading the book. Can anyone recommend which film version to watch?


message 10: by Amalie (new)

Amalie  | 650 comments Mod
D. A. wrote: "I too plan to watch 'War and Peace' after reading the book. Can anyone recommend which film version to watch? ..."

Watch 2007 War and Peace Russian-French-Italian-German miniseries. I thought it was well-done, though I've not read the novel, after watching this I still don't want to read it. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0495055/

I loved both Pierre and Andrey in this. The only thing I didn't like in this is how they have altered the end for Sonya. And Natasha in the beginning is too old for the character, other that it was all good. But wait till you finish the book :)


message 11: by D. A. (new)

D. A. | 34 comments Amalie wrote: "D. A. wrote: "I too plan to watch 'War and Peace' after reading the book. Can anyone recommend which film version to watch? ..."

Watch 2007 War and Peace Russian-French-Italian-German miniseries. ..."


Thank You for posting this!!! I've only been able to find it on Amazon, not on Netflix. However, I did add the Audrey Hepburn and Henry Fonda version to my Netlix queue. After reading the book, it seems that there will be several versions for me to watch and compare.


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