War and Peace: 2019


definitely don’t read them Kaputt. Trust me on this.


yeah presumably she’s cushioned by the knowledge that no one is going to jail an old wealthy lady regardless of what she says, as she’s within the comfort of being aristo


Prac Crit is an online journal of poetry and criticism, dedicated to reading contemporary poems up close. We publish essays, interviews and the reflections of poets themselves, focused on some of the most important work emerging at the moment – all at the level of the individual poem.

Err… thanks, I think?


She’s top banana for the most powerful woman in Russia, she’s definitely insulated and full of it, hence all these people traipsing to her party.


Oh wait… Is Anna Pavlovna old? I had just assumed she was about 20. :grimacing:


well there’s the son chat, remember, so that puts her above that in the first instance.


Ha, practical criticism, more broadly, is a way of studying literature which (to oversimplify) is based on reading nothing but the text itself, avoiding historical context etc, even sometimes anonymising authors. Still forms the basis of the English tripos at Cambridge and some other places. You’d have fit right in.


I think it says she’s about 40 in one of the first chapters, but I might just be imagining that.


She does that whole bit with prince No.1 where she says despite she’s an “old maid” (can’t remember the exact phrase) she’s not set any marriages up yet and so is going to practice with his kids.


I missed that although for this period of history she could have had a son at 14 for all I know, but I presume that son chat was in the context of him being a functioning adult so d’oh!

Ah right. I am bad at noting details like this. And there were a lot of characters to take in.

Early on in a book like this I tend to have a sort of snapped elastic fluidity to my view of characters: suddenly there’ll be a description or something the pops up and it all snaps into place and reimagine them correctly in my head.

Although sometimes it’s not until you see a character cast that you note you got them wrong. E.g. Jon Snow. Was convinced he was blonde until the TV show came out. Odd. :smiley:


Hey I wasn’t trying to be patronising or annoying in my earlier post, I’m sorry if I came across like that.

I do get where you’re coming from, I do, but I’ve found it best to try to push past this kind of thinking. Going back to Hamlet, he’s a Prince, he’s living in a castle not having any of the subsistence level making ends meet issues of the Danish serfs but I think it would be a pretty limiting way of looking at the play to go “he’s posh, don’t care”. His dad is dead, his mum is sleeping with his uncle, he’s got problems. There are plenty of ways in we can sympathise with characters and their struggles even if they are minted.

I think saying “I don’t care about the problems of the rich in books” is a step away from that horrible plague on music criticism that seems, hopefully, to be dying out… “I don’t like music made by rich people/middle class people, I only like working class music”. Uuuuuurrrgghh.


Dooood, I haven’t at any point found your glib points are getting me down, nor am I trying to start a row with you or tell you what/how to post. Sheesh…

If you don’t want to read anything outside the text, then that’s of course cool. I’m just aware that I originally read and am re-reading from a physical book which has all these resources at the back - didn’t know if they were available to kindle users.


Yeah this is fair. I wasn’t meaning I didn’t care I guess, just that I found it hard to care too much. No character we meet in the opening 3 chapters is one I latched onto yet. There are so many it’s hard to know for sure.

Also, I can’t massively comment on Hamlet. I’ve seen the play but it’s a very personal and relatable to all situation he is in. The rich can of course have those but no one had yet shown this really. It just seemed to be more like reading a Jeeves book, which are obviously fun but part of the enjoyment is ridiculous stuff happening to people who are sort of insulated from any lasting problems from whatever it is. (Also this is not yet bringing the smirks like Wodehouse managed.)


You’ve much more elegantly put across the point I was trying to make here!


I would like to apologise for that clearly sounding so harsh. Wasn’t meaning to have a dig at you, was just trying to explain why I wasn’t using those aspects :slight_smile:

Those resources might be at the back. This is another bugbear for me. I got to the end of A Game of Thrones and there’s this really useful appendix laying out spoiler-free detail. WHY THE FUCK DIDN’T YOU MENTION THIS AT THE START OF YOUR FUCKING BOOK, GEORGE?!

Equally, reading the Way of Kings there’s a chunk at the back of ‘background stuff’ but I couldn’t work out if I could read it or not. That frustrated me so much.

So yeah, I didn’t actually look at the contents at all so there may be a treasure trove there. Thanks.

EDIT: nah, looks like this edition is just the book. Final entry in the contents is Chapter 12 in part 17.


Yeah I agree with you about the first few chapters, I think later on more sympathetic situations and characters arise.


No problem at all, and thanks for the tip if I ever read GOT.

You don’t really need that much background stuff after the first few chapters anyway. Most of the main characters have now been introduced or alluded to, and so we can all settle down unimpeded to the next 1,000+ pages of enjoying them falling in/out of love, gaining/losing wealth, going to/returning from war, questioning their place in the world and occasionally dying…


thread is now almost as boring as the book sounds




at least we can all hate @badmanreturns