Friday, 22 July 2011

War & Peace - The Review

So. I have now finished War & Peace. All 1358 pages.

To describe it as a novel is a bit false. There is in fact quite a lot of the book given over to discussion of the nature of warfare, the nature of the Russian-Napoleonic wars, the nature of leadership in warfare, and the nature of the free will of Man. Much of this was no doubt relevant when the book was written in the 19th century, but given the much changed nature of warfare in the latter part of the twentieth and start of the twenty first century I feel it is now superfluous outside of the historical context.

Tolstoy certainly pulls no punches in his analysis of historical figures and the historians who judge their 'Greatness'. His fundamental argument being that the decisions of 'Great' leaders have little to do with the course of warfare.

The story itself includes certain assumptions of knowledge that would no doubt have been fine for those living in Russia within the living memory of the Napoleonic wars, but for the rest of us require quite a lot of concentration to fathom.

All things being equal I can't help but feel that outwith the context of 19th Century Russia the same book could be rewritten to about a third of the length without diminishing the story, and removing quite a lot of the discussion relating to the will of man and so forth.

I'm willing to be open to the suggestion that it has lost something in the translation, there were the odd paragraphs that just plain didn't make sense...

Ultimately for 'Western' consumption a rewritten abridged version would probably be feasible, rather than a straight translation. Some things that are explained over the course of a chapter, could be just as enlightening in the form of a paragraph.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

End of Volume 3, War & Peace

End of Volume 3 of War & Peace. It's still war, but no battles currently ongoing

It's now War 7-5 Peace. War is keeping the ball and awaiting an appropriate opporcancity,

DEFCON4. Napoleon is in Moscow. The Russians, however, umny.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

War & Peace Vol III Part II

Part II of Volume 3 of War & Peace. It's War!

It's now War 7-5 Peace.War is giving Peace a right kicking.

DEFCON5. Napoleon is heading for the gates of Moscow.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

War And Peace Vol 3 Pt. 1

I am now up to Part II of Volume 3 of War & Peace. Since my last report we have mostly been in the realm of peace, although an emotionally turbulent peace for some. There has been the odd foray into war, and things are now heading inexorably in that direction.

It's now War 4-5 Peace. A high scoring game, I fully expect this one to go to extra time. After a bit of a battering from Peace with a goal on the counter by war. Peace are tiring from there efforts and war are pushing in the midfield.

We are definitely at DEFCON4, Napoleon having invaded the Polish territories, moving rapidly towards DEFCON5. We may have made it as far as DEFCON1 at the most peaceful moments with everyone back from the army, but those days are past.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

War & Peace Vol II Part 1

I have now completed part one (vol. II) of War & Peace. This one back towards the peace again, although we must be wary of the fact that there is much emotional turmoil ongoing

It's now War 3-3 Peace. There was a duel, but it wasn't fatal.

After a rather disappointing defeat, we are back at DEFCON 4. However, further warlike action is heaving into view over the horizon, so a return to DEFCON 3 would be prudent.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

War & Peace Part Three

I have now completed part three of War & Peace. A bit more of a backwards and forwards between the War and the Peace.

It's now War 2-2 Peace.

We are drifted towards DEFCON2 while visiting the home front, then rapidly back to DEFCON1.

Here endeth Volume 1.

Friday, 1 July 2011

War & Peace Part II

I have now completed part two of War & Peace. Thinks have now definitely moved into war territory. No discussion of peace, but a hint of treachery in the air.

It's now War 1-1 Peace.

We are now definitely at DEFCON1