Into this confusion, comes the butler, carrying word that the widow of I. A. Bazdeev has sent a message asking him to come to her estate and take away the books, since the family has had to flee the country. Suddenly "..of all the matters that faced Pierre that morning, to him the most important seemed to be sorting the books and papers of Josif Alexeevich."
This struck me as exactly true of human nature, the idea that having one task to focus on can be a blessing—or perhaps a delusion, or perhaps both—in times of difficulty and confusion.
from page 329-330. volume 2 of original text
made June 13, 2011
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 868-870