Reflections on a Wandering Life.....
Sunday, November 21, 2004
Well, I finally did it. I bought a copy of War and Peace by Tolstoy. It occured to me the other day that I had been pretty much neglecting Russion literature since I came to China. And this is one piece of work I had never gotten around to reading. I read Tolstoy's other epic novel, Anna Karenina some years ago, but I had not taken up War and Peace yet. Not much is known about the precise nature of Tolstoy's religious conversion. We do know that it created a considerable amount of tension in his family, because he took to writing what, at the time were viewed (at least by his wife) as worthless tracts. I don't think the short stories of Tolstoy are worthless tracts. I think many of them are great works of literature. But at any rate, the comaparison between War and Peace and Anna Karenina is interesting, because the first of those two was written before his conversion, while the second was written after. This really is a major piece of work, and I am not going to finish it in a hurry. The good news is that the chapters are short. There are lots of them--well over three hundred. But they are short. If I can manage to read one a day, I should be able to finish this thing in about a year.