from page 419-420. volume 2 of original text
collage, graphite, acrylic paint
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 942-943
The language of this passage, like many in War and Peace, moves between French and Russian (or English, in the P/V translation), as a French messenger, Michaud, brings the sovereign Alexander the news that Moscow has been abandoned. It's interesting to observe, that while Alexander is unquestionably in power, Michaud exercises some power through his choice of words. This got me thinking about "chain of command" and how powerful language is, in and of itself.