This was pieced together with some amazing layers of old flier and poster paper the Team brought back from a jaunt to New York. Aged and weathered like an old birch tree, the souvenir was a favored item in the studio that day.
from page 585-586, volume 2 of original text
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 1078-1080
Natasha is overwhelmed with grief and remorse about her relationship with Prince Andrei.
"Besides a general feeling of alienation from all people, Natasha experienced at that time a particular feeling of alienation from the persons of her own family."
I used some text from a child's reader, describing everyday breakfast items. Natasha feels so removed from everyday reality. The black and white floral wallpaper suggests the room where she spends her time alone, lost in thought. There is also some imagery of many human figures. She is in her own world, unable to connect. -- Lola
from page 583-584, volume 2 of original text
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 1076-1078
We are in Volume IV, Part Four, Chapter I. I used a bit of text that translates in English as "they did not dare to look life in the face". This is referring to Natasha and Princess Marya as they mourn the death of Prince Andrei. Throughout this project, I have been drawn towards religious imagery. Here is a mixture of Hindu and Russian orthodox imagery. -- Lola
from page 581-582, volume 2 of original text
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 1075-1076
Prince Andrei has died, and Princess Marya and Natasha are grieving. We are at the beginning of Volume IV, Part Four, Chapter I. I often use religious imagery, but it seems particularly relevant here.
"When a man sees a dying animal, horror comes over him; that which he himself is, his essence, is obviously being annihilated before his eyes -- is ceasing to be. But when the dying one is a person, and a beloved person, then, besides a sense of horror at the annihilation of life, there is a feeling of severance and a spiritual wound which, like a physical wound, sometimes kills and sometimes heals, but always hurts and fears of any external, irritating touch." -- Lola
from page 579-580, volume 2 of original text
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 1073-1075
I believe the red here is a nod to an earlier contribution (collage #532, by Howard McCalebb from Berlin) which had been posted not too long before this was made. It's wild to be influenced in the studio by someone I haven't even met! When I weary of the project (another 5x7 collage based on WP!), I am often struck again by how unique and interesting it is.
from page 577-578, volume 2 of original text
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 1071-1072
"The actions of the Russian and French armies during the reverse campaign from Moscow to the Nieman resemble a game of blindman's buff, when two players are blindfolded and one occasionally rings a little bell to let the catcher know where he is. At first the one to be caught rings without fearing the enemy, but, when things go badly for him, he runs away from his enemy, trying to move inaudibly, and often, thinking to escape, goes straight into his arms." -pp. 1068 in P/V
Emma Rhodes from page 573-574, volume 2 of original text collage, ink made 10/20/11 Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 1068-1070
Tolstoy's description of the collapse of Napoleon's army brings to mind the famous map by the French engineer Charles Joseph Minard (1781 - 1870), which graphically depicts where the 422,000 French soldiers who entered Russia in the summer of 1812 were reduced to 10,000 that finally left the country in the winter of 1813.
For more than a thousand pages, the reader has followed Pierre's ups and down. In his physical condition, Pierre is at the bottom, an unwanted prisoner encumbering a desperate and defeated company of French soldiers who are in full retreat, and have just shot Pierre's friend, Platon Karataev. Pierre appears to be in shock and on the verge of hallucinations, yet he is also in some kind of joyous delirium, quite at ease and prepared for whatever comes next. -- Otto
page 569-570, volume 2 of original text
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 1065-1066
"Life is everything. Life is God. Everything shifts and moves, and this movement is God. And while there is life, there is delight in the self-awareness of the divinity. To love life is to love God. The hardest and the most blissful thing is to love this life in one's suffering, in the guiltlessness of suffering."
Pierre is in an altered state and hears these words spoken. This book is peppered throughout with mystical passages. And of course there is also Princess Marya, my favorite character with her luminous eyes and deep spiritual devotion. -- Lola
from page 567-568, volume 2 of original text
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 1063-1065
"From the conversation of the Germans, Pierre heard that more guards had been placed on this train than the prisoners, and that one of their comrades, a German soldier, had been shot on orders from the marshal himself, because a silver spoon belonging to the marshal had been found among the soldiers' possessions."
Pierre's life experiences run the full range -- from bastard son to uber-wealthy nobleman, to prisoner of war, and finally to happy family man.
We got the news this week that we will have a show at The New School in New York City! Team Tolstoy will be offering 2 workshops on Monday February 13 to demonstrate the power of collaborative collage-making. That evening at 6pm there will be an opening reception. If you live in the NYC area, please mark your calendars! We will post details on our Facebook page regarding workshop times and how to sign up. -- Lola
from page 561-562, volume 2 of original text
collage, ink, flora from Yasnaya Polyana
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 1058-1060
I have a studio in the same building as Team Tolstoy, and have been watching this project develop since it's inception over 2 years ago. I wandered down to visit Lola and Adrienne in mid-October while they were working away one Friday, and they invited me to make a collage. This is the second piece I have contributed. Although I have not read War and Peace recently, it is still accessible to me as an artist. Tolstoy uses such rich imagery. I responded to the image of humming bees that were like music, so I wove the sheet music through the page. There was mention of soldiers marching, that image is also included, and the symbol of the angel as cloistral music. -- Joanie
from page 557-558, volume 2
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 1055-1056
Dolokhov and Petya Rostov are dressed in French uniforms, infiltrating a French encampment to gather information on the number of enemy troops and their whereabouts. Petya is both thrilled and apprehensive as he and Dolokhov approach the shadowy men at the fire. In his zeal to pass as a Frenchman, Dolokhov jokes about the Russian prisoners, 'Nasty business dragging these corpses behind you. Better to shoot the scum!' And bursts into such strange laughter that Petya fears the French will see through the deceit at once. -- Trish
Trish Crapofrom page 553-554, volume 2 of original text
collage, rice paper, graphite
Pevear/Volokhonsky translatin page 1051-1053
These cruel pages describe the last days of Petya Rostov's young life. He is an officer of the hussars and a foolish child filled with dreams of heroism. He treats military life and the war as if they were part of a great game, but fails to understand that he plays it for the highest stakes. Dolokhov and he put on French uniforms and visit an enemy camp - a dangerous undertaking that foreshadows Petya's fall the next morning. -- Otto
from page 551-552, volume 2 of original text
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 1049-1051
This piece relates to the last collage I made. Soldiers guarding prisoners. This is from World War I. The uniforms and politics may change, but it's still war. I remember reading somewhere that for every year of peace, there are nineteen years of war. -- Lola
from page 549-550, volume 2 of original text
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 1048-1049
In this scene, Petya, the youngest Rostov who has just recently joined the military, is in camp with Denisov and trying to fit in with the other soldiers. He has just heard how Tikhon killed a French soldier, and he feels uneasy. He is so young, and so reckless, wanting to prove himself.
Sitting with the officers at the table and tearing at a greasy hunk of fragrant mutton with one hand, which dripped with fat, Petya was in a rapturous childlike state of tender love for all people, and consequently of certainty that other people had the same love for him.
I used another illustration from the original text where Pierre witnesses the execution of other Russians who were accused of fire-setting. He escaped that fate for reasons unknown to him or to the reader. Unfortunately Petya has another fate. -- Lola
from page 545-546, volume 2 of original text
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 1044-1045
When the laughter that came over him at Tikhon's words and smile passed and Petya realized for a moment that this Tikhon had killed a man, he felt uneasy. He glanced at the captive drummer boy and something stabbed his heart. But this uneasiness lasted only a moment. He felt a need to raise his head higher, to encourage himself, and to question the esaul about the next day's undertaking, assuming a significant air, so as not to be unworthy of the company he was in.
Lynn Waskelis from page 543-544, volume 2 of original text collage, flora from Yasnaya Polyana made 9/30/11 Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 1043-1044
The 1976 Soviet Russia version of the source book we use has some wonderful illustrations, one of which I used on the lower left. I prefer to use originals rather than copies. So they are precious!
This scene describes how Tikhon Shcherbaty joins Denisov's military group. He became "one of the most necessary men in the party", eventually showing his worth and being promoted from a muzhik to a Cossack.
Tikhon, who at first did the dirty work of making campfires, carrying water, skinning horses, and so on, soon showed great zeal and ability for partisan warfare... Tikhon did not like riding and always went on foot, never lagging behind the cavalry. His weapons were a muskatoon, which he strapped on mainly for amusement, a pike, and an ax, which he used as a wolf does its teeth, with equal ease picking fleas out of its fur or biting through thick bones."
This makes me think about how difficult it must be for military people to return to civilian life. A totally different "skill set". Tikhon was valued for his skill at pulling dead horses out of water and skinning them. How often would he be called on to do that in non-military life?
Team Tolstoy met in the studio on Friday. We have just 20 more collages to make! We should be done in a few more sessions. And in the next week or so we should have our plans made for our show(s) in Russia this summer. -- Lola
from page 541-542, volume 2 of original text
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 1041-1043
Certain things I remember exactly as they were. They are merely discolored a bit by time, like coins in the pocket of a forgotten suit...The myriad past, it enters us and disappears. Except that within it, somewhere, like diamonds, exist the fragments that refuse to be consumed. Sifting through, if one dares, and collecting them, one discovers the true design.
(re)quoted from James Salter's "A Sport and a Pastime"
I wonder about the possibility of discovering a "true design." But yes to the diamond fragments that refuse to be consumed! What would those be for Natasha? For Princess Marya?
Lynn Waskelis from page 535-536, volume 2 of original text collage, flora from Yasnaya Polyana made 9/30/11 Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 1037-1038
This passage is from Volume IV, Part III, Chapter II. Tolstoy is talking about his philosophy of war. I cut out a single sentence from the text that reads
Partisan warfare (always successful, as history demonstrates) is directly opposed to this rule.
I am no history buff but it got me to think about some of the wars I am somewhat familiar with -- such as Vietnam (clearly the US lost that one and the "partisans" were able to resist the invaders) or in very current times, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the case of Afghanistan, there is a long, long history of resisting outside forces. Partisans, indeed. And it makes me think of how one defines "rebels" vs. "freedom fighters". Sometimes I wonder how I personally would respond if the US was invaded -- I hope I, too, would become a partisan. -- Lola
from page 531-532, volume 2 of original text
Pevear/Volokhnsky translation page 1033-1034
"The period in the campaign of 1812 from the battle of Borodino to the expulsion of the French proved that a battle won is not only not the cause of a conquest, but is not even an invariable sign of conquest; it proved that the force that decides the destiny of nations lies not in conquerors, not even in armies and battles, but in something else."
Lucy Arrington from page 529-530, volume 2 of original text collage made 9/30/11 Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 1031-1033
Part III of Volume IV begins with a discussion of the history of war and the ways in which the war between Russia and France deviates from what Tolstoy calls the "rules" of war. I used the iron structures from magazine images and expanded them with paint to create new open shapes, which I filled with gold paint and children's crayons. -- Trish
from page 527-528, volume 2 of original text
collage, magazines, rice paper, acrylic paint, wax crayon
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 1029-1031
"The yearnings manifest in a separate man are always magnified in a crowd."
Tolstoy is describing the French troops "going back down the old Smolensk road" toward home. The final goal of home was too distant, so everyone's desire to reach Smolensk was "increased in great proportion to the crowd". They "yearned for Smolensk as for the Promised Land". -- Trish
from page 525-526, volume 2 of original text
collage, acrylic paint, ink, vellum paper
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 1027-1029