Reading War & Peace Just another WordPress weblog


And I’ll be joining in.

I'm sharing in the War and Peace attempt.  This time, I'm armed with flashcards with all (well, most) of the characters' names so I can try to keep them straight.

Seriously, Tolstoy, who names one character "Dokhturov" and another "Dolgorukov" and yet another "Dolokhov"?

Currently restarting on Page 1.


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No really, it’s going to work this time

So I failed miserably at my attempt to read War & Peace. I was the reading equivalent of running at full speed into a brick wall. I was not prepared for the density or references I would need to look up. I tried one other time and made it further but I wasn't really mentally in the game. Now I am ready to make another serious run at it. I started today and hope to finish in about three months.

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The first few pages

The first page was surprisingly challenging. It starts off in French and I wasn't expecting that. Luckily the translation for the French is at the bottom of the page so that wasn't so bad. Two characters are talking in Russian (translated to English) and French and it goes back and forth. The opening in French also has a historical note reference so right away I'm turning to the back to read about what Napoleon was doing with captured territories in 1805 and how the spelling used is a dig about him by the characters talking.

About 5 more historical notes and the first few pages were done. I'm assuming that will get easier as I get more into the story and time.


Why this is here

On my birthday I announced my intention to read "War and Peace" this year. Why "War & Peace?" Well I've always been told it's a huge epic work with over one thousand characters. I looked at the number of "Star Wars" books I've read over the years and I started thinking that it probably has that many characters so it was time.

Gerald told me he wanted to join in (I'll let him tell his own story if he wants to) so I set up this blog as a place to discuss anything pertaining to the novel. We are giving ourselves a year to read it in case it ends up being slow going, but I've only read the introduction so far so I don't really know.

The version we are reading is a new translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. According to the introduction, unlike previous translations, they try to preserve the tone of Tolstoy's writing in addition to the content. The book also includes a list of principal characters, notes on each chapter to help with the context of some things, a historical index of people and places, and chapter summaries should a reader forget and need to jog their memory.

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