Finally Finished Reading War and Peace

Cover to the English first edition

So I finally finished War and Peace. It took 2 weeks. All I can say is thank God. Well, I actually have more to say of course.

The book ended with “it is… necessary to renounce a freedom that does not exist, and to recognize a dependence of which we are not conscious.” Well fine. But, did I need to read 1,500 pages to get to that?

I understand the book is a historical novel, an extremely looong novel. According to Wikipedia, Tolstoy’s wife had to rewrite the draft 7 times before he was satisfied with it. Wonder if she divorced him? I also wonder if he would have rewritten it 7 times if he had to do the grunt work himself.

What I think Tolstoy was trying to say is that the farther back we look in time, we see how much of our actions as individuals and groups are inevitable. And we are not as free as we think we are.

Anyone who has ever gone grocery shopping with toddlers understands how little freedom we have. As I mentioned in my Nothing to Wear post, I’m sick of my clothes, but I can’t get away with ditching them all. Have to wear something. If for no other reason than I don’t want to stick to the car seat in the 100 degree Texas heat. Getting arrested for nudity would be inconvenient and would totally stress out Mr. Husband. Furthermore, I shudder to think what they would make me wear in jail. Yuck!

6 responses

  1. My son looks pretty nice in those prison clothes. Khakis for federal and orange for county. Not sure about state yet, maybe blue. Ah, yes, the treatment programs. Good luck, dear, with yours. The first? My prayer and hope is the first one will take… or the second… or the third. The talons of drug/alcohol abuse dig in deep and are most difficult to remove. But it can be done. If you have the stamina to read W&P in the emergency room, girl, you’ve got the stamina to take on addiction. God speed.

    1. Oh Lordy, thank you for your vote of confidence. Hope I don’t have to see the grandson in prison clothes.

  2. I’m with you on the clothes thing… and there’s little chance you’re going to be able outrun that social law.

    On the other hand, madame, I think you do quite well with busting up societal conventions and flouting niceties and empty rules.

    And did you know, at the end of the Tolstoys’ lives, when they had been married more than 60 years, their children felt the had to separate them, ‘for their own good.’ They didn’t like it at all, not one little bit.

    1. Hee Hee “flouting niceties and empty rules” I love it. If that’s all that is said about me when I leave this mortal coil I will be happy.

      Separated for their own good after 60 years? That’s just ridiculous. If a couple has been together that long, it seems that it is more cruelty than anything else to to that.

  3. LOL!!! I remember the first time I read it. I had very similar thoughts regarding the aspect of freedom. I am at the moment attempting to build up the courage to read “Don Quixote”… I’ve gotten four pages in… but for some odd reason something keeps on tearing me from the pages. I know I’ll love it. My favoruite authors have all told me that I’ll be so in love with it and they know me quite well.

    Might I ask why did you decide to finally read it?

    1. Oh No. I wish you hadn’t mentioned Don Quixote. Now it will fester in my mind until I add to the book list. I read W&P for a bunch of reasons. The reason it was on my list is that it was on a list of 100 books you should read in a lifetime that I saw somewhere. Another reason I started it was that I read very fast and needed a long book when I took grandson to the emergency room so he could get checked into a treatment program. The 1st 7 hours of the book I read in the ER.

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