Saturday, April 16, 2011

Collage 375

On these pages, Tolstoy waxes philosophical about war, history and free will. I sometimes think these are the heart of the book. It would be fascinating to have a book that leaves out all the narrative and includes only Tolstoy's philosophical musings. It could be called something like Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of War and Peace (apologies to Kant).
I think perhaps that's what he wanted to write, but thought he could get more widely read if he included lots of juicy detailed illustrations of his ideas.
Anyway, here's an example:
Fatalism in history is inevitable for the explanation of senseless phenomena (that is, those whose sense we do not understand)...
Each man lives for himself, uses his freedom to achieve his personal goals, and feels with his whole being that right now he can or cannot do such-and-such an action; but as soon as he does it, this action, committed at a certain moment in time, becomes irreversible and makes itself the property of history, in which it has not a free but a predestined significance.
Lucy Arrington
from page 5-6 of original text, Volume II
collage, ink
made 2/4/11
page 603-605 Pevear/Volokhonsky translation

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