catapult magazine

catapult magazine


War and Peace


Aug 06 2003
12:23 pm

I am sorry to see so much tension raised over issues I didn’t realize were at stake here, crlynvn.

I agree with your statement regarding Austen, Bronte, etc. We wouldn’t be having the same argument, though I fail to see why we are having the argument about Tolstoy anyhow. You say that Tolstoy was attempting to outline the reality of life – ‘how the world is’, yet Austen and other such novelists do the same, but in a moral rather than political venue. Tolstoy’s world in WandP is based on how he, as subjective being, viewed the times. It seems the assumption of his attempting to write pure history is an opinion that is being read onto the novel, not one inherent in it – again, it is a ‘novel’, a story, not posited as fact. Hence, a placement of WandP in such a genre as historical novel, is not a travesty. It does not seem to ascribe to the story a false level of accuracy. It’s simply descriptive of the genre.

(a side note on your side note re: choice -how do you feel about Thomas Hardy’s novels? ie. Tess)

Finally, I agree with your last statement in the first paragraph. Tolstoy’s story, as well as his historiological perspective, is indeed based largely on conjecture, that was my point from the beginning.

In any case, this is not an attack, nor was it intended as such- merely an expression of opinion. Please take no offense.