"Well, the worm gnaws the cabbage, but dies before he's done: That's what the old folk used to say." Said by a beggar who's sharing his potatoes with Pierre.
Sometimes that's how we feel about this project. It's a massive cabbage that we're gnawing away at, but it's so big... will we ever finish? Do we want to?
from page 455-456, volume 2 of original text
collage, embroidery thread, ink
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 970-972