Monday, January 9, 2012

Collage 643

We are in Volume IV, Part Three, Chapter V.

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

Lola Baltzell
from page 541-542, volume 2 of original text
collage, ink
made 9/30/11
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 1041-1043

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