War and Peace 2012

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

Leo Tolstoy's "War and Peace" has 366 chapters*. 2012 is a leap year, so it has 366 days. This is therefore an ideal year in which to read War and Peace, a chapter a day. So I am doing this.

Is anyone else? There is still time to catch up, as the chapters are not long.

*in some editions. Others amalgamate or break chapters differently, which is very annoying.

The New Dirty Vicar, Tuesday, 10 January 2012 14:58 (eight years ago) link

Does this mean you will only read one book this year?

Aimless, Tuesday, 10 January 2012 19:05 (eight years ago) link

If you only read one book this year

Poppy Newgod and the Phantom Banned (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 10 January 2012 19:07 (eight years ago) link

which edition?

elan, Wednesday, 11 January 2012 00:16 (eight years ago) link

Aimless - no, I will read more than one book this year. each chapter is pretty short.

Elan - the varying edition thing is a pain in the arse. Basically, the cheapo Wordsworth classics edition presents the text as 366 chapters. The vastly more expensive Everyman edition (which uses the same translation) breaks the chapters differently and seems to have less of them... possibly under 300.

Thus far, people have gone to a party, someone has caused a sensation by claiming that Napoleon is a standup fellow, some Bullingdon Boyars have behaved disgracefully, and some bloke is eyeing up some woman.

The New Dirty Vicar, Wednesday, 11 January 2012 18:40 (eight years ago) link

this is a rather ace idea

Not only dermatologists hate her (James Morrison), Wednesday, 11 January 2012 23:28 (eight years ago) link

Join us!

The New Dirty Vicar, Thursday, 12 January 2012 10:32 (eight years ago) link

if i get the 300-chapter edition can i join in in march after classes finish

thomp, Thursday, 12 January 2012 10:57 (eight years ago) link

i only have about 1/5 of Anna K to go, but I may try to catch up with you guys when I'm done.

Aesop Rizzle (a hoy hoy), Thursday, 12 January 2012 13:39 (eight years ago) link

two months pass...

I should look at ILB more often. Yes Thomp, you can join us. Even now you would be able to catch up before too long reading at a normal pace. Likewise Aesop Rizzle. If anyone wants to join W&P 2012 Facebook group then send me a message and I will send you a link.

Currently we are splitting into rival pro- and anti- Pierre factions.

The New Dirty Vicar, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 15:46 (eight years ago) link

i had totally forgotten about this. i have a pile of abandoned "after term ends" stuff something like two feet high so i don't know quite how likely it is i'll get there tbh

↖MODERNIST↗ hangups (thomp), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 16:04 (eight years ago) link

try reading a chapter a day and see how you like it... it's something you could do in ten minutes and you will probably like it so much that you read quickly to catch up.

The New Dirty Vicar, Thursday, 15 March 2012 13:09 (eight years ago) link

I suspect that in December I will still be gamely telling people that they still have time to catch up.

The New Dirty Vicar, Thursday, 15 March 2012 13:09 (eight years ago) link

three months pass...

still time to catch up! It's getting very exciting now. Smolensk has just burned down.

The New Dirty Vicar, Saturday, 14 July 2012 00:18 (seven years ago) link

For me, I think a certain amount of frustration would creep in if I was reading the same book for 7 months. Although, I guess it helps if you treat it like several different books and maybe War and Peace is good enough to invest some time into anyway.

Michael B Higgins (Michael B), Saturday, 14 July 2012 00:28 (seven years ago) link

this is like a week-or-two read for me, not because i habitually read 1100-page books in a week or two (this is not my habit at all) but because you kind of have to catch this one like a wave. i should have reread it with you, tho; i should read it every year. or at least i should read AK every year. but i gave my copy to someone and then we fell out.

a hauntingly unemployed american (difficult listening hour), Saturday, 14 July 2012 01:08 (seven years ago) link

i want the P/V paperback of this, tho, so huge and supple; it melts across the hands like corn starch/water (unsure of the most popular name for this substance)

a hauntingly unemployed american (difficult listening hour), Saturday, 14 July 2012 01:09 (seven years ago) link

yeah i find that if i don't read a really long book in as short a period as possible i drift away from it. (exception: moby-dick, which is best read over a couple months IMO.)

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Saturday, 14 July 2012 01:26 (seven years ago) link

I am finding with W&P that the slow pace suits it, especially now that the invasion of Russia is taking place more or less in real time. Having a facebook community to yap away about it gets over the embarrassing "who is this guy again?" memory lapse problems.

The New Dirty Vicar, Sunday, 15 July 2012 16:53 (seven years ago) link

Steadily working my way through a 60-ish hour long audiobook version of this as of Tuesday evening. It's slow going right now, I've just started book 2. I keep having to rewind to make sure I've got all the different characters pinned down in my mind, there really is so many of them. Enjoying it for all that though, particularly the passages towards the end of book 1 with the elder Bolkonsky and Mikhail Ivanivich. Also intrigued by the hints towards something dangerous in this lad Dolokhov. Sensing that there may be some bad ju-ju afoot with him at some point. Hopefully an ill-advised duel or bar-room brawl gone bad. At the very least a non-consensual elopement or something scandalous like that.

I'm finding it quite easy to maintain interest in the plot chiefly because my knowledge of this conflict (this whole historical period, if I'm being honest) is paltry, so I'm actually excited to see where the war is going to go. Got at least 50 hours to plough through yet though, need to make sure I don't let it fall by the wayside.

Windsor Davies, Sunday, 15 July 2012 21:57 (seven years ago) link

Ah, Dolokhov.

The Old Prince has proved to be something of a favourite among my W&P-reading friends. Have you reached the bit where his servants clear the snow from his drive because Prince Vasili and Anatole are coming to visit?

The New Dirty Vicar, Monday, 16 July 2012 20:47 (seven years ago) link

one month passes...

Only just remembered this thread! Making slow but steady progress on this, I've reached the point where Andrew has proposed to Natasha with the caveat that they wait a year before the wedding.

I'm really enjoying myself with this so far, it's making very nice bed time listening. Managing to listen to about half an hour / an hour done before bed each night, and I'm now familiar enough with all the characters that it's like a little radio soap where I get a bit of story every day. I've found that my response has shifted accordingly, and I've developed very definite favourites that I'm rooting for hard. Right now I'm delighted that Andrew and Natasha seem to be getting it together, but the fact that it's happening this early in the novel means that there's just no way it can last. I'm now dreading some coming calamity that'll screw it all up, but I'm on tenterhooks all the same.

What was that Freemasonry stuff all about? Things got quite strange there for a while, it was an odd shift in tone.

How's the chapter-a-day project coming along?

Windsor Davies, Tuesday, 21 August 2012 23:24 (seven years ago) link

five years pass...

does anyone have a good reading of this passage?


Mordy, Sunday, 14 January 2018 17:51 (two years ago) link


Mordy, Sunday, 14 January 2018 17:51 (two years ago) link

last try


Mordy, Sunday, 14 January 2018 17:51 (two years ago) link

last try

seems pretty straightforward to me. what is your perplexity here?

A is for (Aimless), Sunday, 14 January 2018 17:55 (two years ago) link

what did "all the world know"? what's going on in that anecdote? there's obviously something. is it linked to the language difficulties? is the lack of real content the focus? that it's the most empty of social graces? but it really does appear to be a story, etc, even if it's not received.

Mordy, Sunday, 14 January 2018 18:00 (two years ago) link

is the implication that the dame tricked her into not riding in the carriage? am i meant to just be w/ the guests and not understand why he told the story (or why it needed to be told in russian)?

Mordy, Sunday, 14 January 2018 18:03 (two years ago) link

interpreting a tolstoy passage as intentionally vague / meaningless feels particularly unsatisfying

Mordy, Sunday, 14 January 2018 18:05 (two years ago) link

the world knew she only had one footman and the other one was a woman in disguise

but is there is an ironic connection between pretending to have two footmen and pretending to be a french sophisticate (or pretending to have a funny story to tell), or is russia, or the petrograd aristo/bureau class telling "moscow stories" at parties in (affectedly?) broken russian, pretending to have, or to be, something, or pretending that something else is something it is not, or is there nothing going on along these lines at all, or what? no idea rly.

difficult listening hour, Sunday, 14 January 2018 18:08 (two years ago) link

ty that sounds about right to me. i didn't put together last night that she was pretending the maid was a footman and so revealing the long hair revealed that she was a woman.

Mordy, Sunday, 14 January 2018 18:10 (two years ago) link

dlh, you're right. The Russian aristocrats are all of a sudden trying to speak Russian because they've declared war on France. And the falseness is meant to mirror how Pierre (who is a legitimated bastard) is perceived by them, iirc.

Frederik B, Sunday, 14 January 2018 18:21 (two years ago) link

they're all too glib unfortunately to really get a handle on the politics driving the war. hopefully he goes into it more later on.

Mordy, Sunday, 14 January 2018 18:27 (two years ago) link

Um... Let's just say that he talks about... what drives wars... a lot...

Frederik B, Sunday, 14 January 2018 18:59 (two years ago) link

i'm sure - not too worried. presumably part of what drives wars are glib aristocrats.

Mordy, Sunday, 14 January 2018 19:00 (two years ago) link

one year passes...

"With the enemy's approach to Moscow the Moscovites' view of their situatoin did not grow more serious but on the contrary became even more frivolous, as alawys happens with people who see a great danger approaching. At the approach of danger there are always two voices that speak with equal power in the human soul: one very reasonably tells a man to consider the nature of the danger and the means of escaping it; the other, still more reasonably, says that it is too depressing and painful to think of the danger since it is not in man's power to foresee everything and avert the general course of events, and it is therefore better to disregard what is painful till it comes, and to think about what is pleasant. In solitude a man generally listens to the first voice, but in society to the second. So it was now with the inhabitants of Moscow. It was long since people had been as gay in Moscow as that year."

Mordy, Sunday, 26 May 2019 18:22 (ten months ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.