War and Peace: 2019


Wait, so when you said ‘Paul Dano as Pierre’ you didn’t know he’d been cast as Pierre in that?!

Some world-class casting skills if so. Maybe you need to change career?

(I haven’t yet done chapter 7. I may save the next few up as it’s a crazy opening to the week.) - Edit I should stop reading this thread for now, I guess.


I did not catch that!!!


No no, I remembered he was in the bbc adaptation (along with James Norton who I assumed was Prince Andrew) but didn’t know which character.


C’mon people, chapter fucking two!

One of the next arrivals was a stout, heavily built young man with close-cropped hair, spectacles, the light-colored breeches fashionable at that time, a very high ruffle, and a brown dress coat. This stout young man was an illegitimate son of Count Bezúkhov, a well-known grandee of Catherine’s time who now lay dying in Moscow.

Theo, I’m revoking all your prac crit close reading accolades.


Hey man, I was deep in trying to decipher all the information in that chapter. I haven’t had time to go back and re-read. :cry:


but if you cant handl


Chapter 7 - Bit disappointed that the copper/bear interface was related after the fact at some boring Count’s house rather than getting to spend the night out with the #ladsladslads


Seriously think my chapters are more broken up on my version - chapter 7 was just Lise having a tantrum?


Maybe they are… That was the first half of chapter 6 in mine, with the second half being bants with the lads.

I’ve got the penguin edition.


Assuming you’re talking about the bit when she’s complaining about men going to war and her having to spend time with Andrey’s family in the country.


I’ve only just got to this now in chapter 9 of mine, but what a change! Pierre’s gone from mildly scandalous takes on Napoleon to 19th Century Nek-Nominations!?


It’s a slippery slope.




Okay, re-read the first 3 chapters before doing 7, 8 and 9 because I have more of a handle on who everyone is now so here’s some thoughts:

Chapter 1 - still not really sure of Pavlovna’s age here. I didn’t see anything about her having a son and in fact in Chapter 7 we discover she has never been married. ‘Old Maid’ seems like the sort of term that might be used as exaggeration. That said, I see they cast Gillian Anderson as her. Given how much more stretched our lives are she is probably playing younger than she is but roughly seen the same way, as middle-aged?

Chapter 2 - okay, well this is another chapter of the book I’ve realised where I had zero paragraph breaks but I guess because it was only chapter two I just bulldozed through and didn’t realise it was a formatting error. This in part explains why I found it so hard to make sense of and probably why I missed Pierre’s bloody illegitimacy @hip_young_gunslinger. That, and the fact that his introduction is so stretched out that by the time you know he’s called Pierre you’ve forgotten what all the opening description was and if it’s actually about him!

Chapter 3 - Tolstoy belabours his simile of the Vicomte being like good food, doesn’t he?

Anna Pavlovna was obviously serving him up as a treat to her guests. As a clever maitre d’hotel serves up as a specially choice delicacy a piece of meat that no one who had seen it in the kitchen would have cared to eat, so Anna Pavlovna served up to her guests, first the vicomte and then the abbe, as peculiarly choice morsels.

That’s when he is first about to talk about the Duc then we have a lot of talk about him going to tell his tale and being a raconteur and finally we have this:

and the vicomte was served up to the company in the choicest and most advantageous style, like a well-garnished joint of roast beef on a hot dish.

before we get…well so much fucking preamble before the story about the Duc. Who could fail to feel the anticlimax when it’s finally told!

later in Chapter 7 we had this:

“a winning and piteous look of fear.”

What the hell form of ‘winning’ is this?

Anyway, now in Chapter 8 we have the mystery of why Prince Andrew/Andre doesn’t like his wife any more. Or do we? I mean it’s hard to know if what he said is just meant to be enough for a patriarchal 19th century novel, that a man just wishes he were a bachelor. This is PG Wodehouse territory again, with Wooster always desperate not to get tied down by a wife.

But obviously I feel like there’s some kind of dark secret here. Seems like he’s become convinced the child isn’t his to me, but that he refuses to actually say anything explicit because of ‘reasons’.

Chapter 9 is sort of the classic old book chapter that doesn’t really interest me, full of dialogue that I can’t easily imagine being spoken (all those "Eh?"s) and a sort of weird machismo/honour situation going on where I am unclear if I should take at face value and assume the start of the 19th C was a different time, or if I should read it as an intentionally absurd satire on what the rich of the time were like.

Either way I am sad no one fell to their death but it was at least a bit tense for a while. Not because I hate the characters just because it would have laid out some big stuff early on for the story to work with.


Ah, see chapter 9 in mine is the lad bants that ends with Pierre hugging a bear(!?) as they’re about to go somewhere else

Mine is definitely more broken up. I’m just reading a free edition atm


Yes, essentially this I think (though I’ve never read any PG Wodehouse). I think it’s that she’s a symbol to him of that safe, stuffy society embodied by the guests at Pavlovna’s party which he despises. The fact that everyone in that setting adores her is only further evidence to him of the loss of freedom marriage to her represents. He sees himself as being on the brink of great historical change with war coming and wants to be a part of of it, but feels like he’s burdened himself before it’s even begun:

But tie yourself up with a woman and, like a chained convict, you lose all freedom! And all you have of hope and strength merely weighs you down and torments you with regret. Drawing rooms, gossip, balls, vanity, and triviality- these are the enchanted circle I cannot escape from. I am now going to the war, the greatest war there ever was, and I know nothing and am fit for nothing. I am very amiable and have a caustic wit…and at Anna Pavlovna’s they listen to me. And that stupid set without whom my wife cannot exist."


That’s the end of my chapter 9 too!

What’s @McGarnagle reading? Are we going yo have to ask for his badge, the maverick?


Mine is probably the same edition as McGarnagle’s (Penguin ed too I think) as I had the longer Chapter 6 too, whereas the online edition (here) I retrieved the anti-marriage quote from is split as you guys have found.

No idea why there would be a difference, but we’ll probably be finished a month of two before you if that’s the case!




That was the second half of chapter 6 in mine!