Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Tolstoy comments at the beginning of this chapter on how people respond to danger. The tsar has already left Moscow but the mobility is still having lavish parties, just like he opening scene in Anna Pavlovna's soiree. The French army will arrive shortly.
"At the approach of danger, two voices always speak with equal force in a man's soul; one quite reasonably tells the man to consider the properties of the danger and the means of saving himself from it; the other says still more reasonably that it is too painful and tormenting to think about the danger, when it is not in man's power to foresee everything and save himself from the general course of things, and therefore it is better to turn away from the painful things until they come and think about what is pleasant. In solitude, a man most often yields to the first voice; in company, on the contrary, to the second. That is what now happened with the citizens of Moscow. It was long since there had been so much merrymaking in Moscow as there was that year."
I often wonder -- did Tolstoy write these epic novels as a platform for his opinions about just about everything? I'm sure that someone has cataloged all of his comments about love, war, relationships between lovers and cultures, God, all of it. Is his comment about response to danger true?
In this collage, I used a quote:
"A fine!" said a young man in a militia uniform, whom Julie called "mon chevalier," and who was going to Nizhny with her.
I used a map of Paris and French vocabulary for flowers and animals. Forbidden!
The gentry had decided that anyone spoke French, they would have to pay a fine. This was their idea of patriotism. This was their response to the imminent sacking of Moscow. -- Lola
from page 181-182, Volume 2 of original text
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 746-747
Posted by LolaInWonderland at 6:09 AM