from page 421-422, volume 2 of original text
collage: magazine images, Russian wallpaper, Moscow bus tickets
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 943-945
This is a passage that steps back from the action and comments upon the history as a whole. Tolstoy writes that "we, who were not living at that time, involuntarily imagine that all Russian people, great and small, were taken up only with sacrificing themselves, saving the fatherland, or weeping over its loss."
Instead, he asserts, "The majority of the people of that time paid no attention to the general course of things, but were guided only by the personal interests of the day. And those people were the most useful figures of that time."
Thus, the everyday images of laundry, tableware and bus tickets and wallpaper acquired on our trip to Russia this summer.