War and Peace: 2019


Highlighted a few quotes from my copy to respond to this post in detail, then forgot to send it to myself. Would’ve been a lot easier if I was reading it on my phone!

Anyway, not sure how much of the problems you’re having are down to the specific translation as it’s hard to tell which parts are directly from the text and which are indirect clarifications. For example, it’s forever pointing out when someone is speaking in French or Russian and I assume in the original text that wouldn’t have needed saying because the dialogue would just have been in French.

Anna’s age. Ch1 p1: “a distinguished lady at court”. Ch1, p2: “forty years of age”

All that stuff about food. The same convoluted metaphor but the way it’s translated is radically different and substantially better.


  1. gaining, resulting in, or relating to victory in a contest or competition. “a winning streak”
    synonyms: victorious, successful, triumphant, vanquishing, conquering; More

  2. attractive; endearing. “a winning smile”**
    synonyms: engaging, charming, appealing, endearing, sweet, cute, winsome, attractive, pretty

Yeah, I also found this part hard to figure out. There’s a vague hint that he thinks his wife is a bit too close to your man Hippolit, but I suspect it is just that why can’t these damn women let men be men! I do think this scene is quite significant in developing the two characters and what I guess is one of the main tensions in the book. It’s the first time two characters have a completely unguarded conversation and it’s Andrei - the consummate gentlemen and perfect guest - complaining bitterly to Pierre - the ill-mannered lunk with no idea how to behave in polite company - about the strictures placed on him about how he can act and speak.

(Zoidberg gif) Why not both? As with a lot of the catty back and forth at the party, it’s meant to be funny but it’s also meant to show how civilsed chaps really want to behave when they get the chance. To be honest, the sort of behaviour depicted here is one thing that doesn’t seem remotely old-fashioned to me. Replace the off-duty army boys with any modern stereotype - uni rugby lads, professional footballers, City twats - and the only difference is knowing where to get a bear in the first place!

Guess I have the same edition as McGarnagle, as chapter 7 was the fallout from the lads big night out, as reported at another of these interminable parties. This one was a bit of surprise for me. Having established Pierre as the social conscience in the book we get the rug pulled as we find out really just wants to get ripped with the boys and talk shit. Not the two are ever mutually exclusive but I wasn’t expecting it.



I am well aware of those meanings which is obviously why I questioned its use.



Ah, okay. Sounded a bit weird but basically fine to me: all we’ve learned about her is how gorgeous she is, so she looks sweet even when she’s terrified? Maybe.


It’s just bad really is all I mean. Unless winning had a different sense, back then, like how people in books contemporary to this would be described as ‘excited’ when these days we’d more likely say ‘agitated’.

Anyway, I totally admit a lot of my feelings on this are very much based on personal appraisal. I just don’t like the same simile being used close together like that. And I don’t like not being sure I am interpreting the same thing the writer intends :grimacing:


@juke these different editions are a bit rum.

Does the original place you got this from say how many chapters total are expected?


Aha @dingaling @McGarnagle reading the Reddit things says this of chapter 9:

Sorry it’s late today, my automated post didn’t work and I didn’t notice until just now. Gutenberg version is reading chapter 12 today.

So there must be a list somewhere for us cheap bastards


ahh, that makes more sense! Maybe I’ll get the penguin version if it’s under a quid (lol)


I’m reading the Gutenberg version. This is what I’m planning to read today:


Scroll right on this spreadsheet



Aha. So today, us Gutenbergers should get to the end of Chapter 12 to be in the same place as the Penguiners?


Seems like it.

How the blue fuck is this the situation though?


not sure if i liked chapter 9. kinda cast a light on pierre i was less chill with. up til now i’ve seen him as essentially a russian bamnan (this is a good thing), but this was weird.


Penguin chapter 9 or Gutenberg chapter 9?


Looks like once we get to Part II we’ll all be on the same page (SEE WHAT I DID THERE) so this thread will be much less confusing.


i don’t know.


I thought it looked literally like once we are reading chapter 13 to thrir chapter 10 it’s all good?

(Nice punning, yes!)


At the end of your chapter did they just finish the window sill game and run off to another party clutching a bear?


did he dance with a bear


Could come in a variety of places. The Gutenberg is probably based of an earlier translation that is likely based on an early Russian edition of the novel. When Penguin commissioned the new translation they may have gone back to Tolstoy’s manuscripts and seen that his chapter breaks were different but decided it made more sense and so re-edited it. That would be my guess. Doesn’t matter much, I’ll catch up then it should be analogous.


@dingaling yes.