Categorized by Henry James as one of the 'loose baggy monsters' of the nineteenth century, War and Peace
epitomizes the intimidating 'classic' collecting dust on the shelf, often begun and just as often left half-done (or never done at all). In the words of translator Richard Pevear, 'It is there, like a vast, unexplored continent, and all sorts of daunting rumors circulate about life in the interior. But once you cross the border, you discover that the world of War and Peace
is more familiar and at the same time more surprising than the rumors suggested.' So be brave dear readers. This newest translation of Tolstoy's hulking masterpiece is rendered by the gifted Pevear and Volokhonsky (a husband-wife team of literary renown), who seem especially capable of balancing the literal with the faithful. Besides the figurative war Tolstoy makes between the French and Russian languages (at times, whole pages are transcribed in French and must be translated in the footnotes), there is nothing difficult about the text itself. Tolstoy is known for his depiction of people and their relationships with each other. He is a historian, yes, but he is a novelist first. What makes War and Peace
so satisfying and frustrating is its striking correspondence to real life. It's a jumble of love and dejection, drudgery and invigoration, confusion and illumination. This particular edition is well designed with a helpful list of the principle characters at the front, historical notes at the back, and essential translations or explanations listed as footnotes at the bottom of the page. 1296 pp
An Eighth Day View:
From the award-winning translators of "Anna Karenina" and "The Brothers Karamazov" comes this magnificent new translation of Tolstoy's masterwork.
War and Peace""broadly focuses on Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812 and follows three of the most well-known characters in literature: Pierre Bezukhov, the illegitimate son of a count who is fighting for his inheritance and yearning for spiritual fulfillment; Prince Andrei Bolkonsky, who leaves his family behind to fight in the war against Napoleon; and Natasha Rostov, the beautiful young daughter of a nobleman who intrigues both men.
A s Napoleon's army invades, Tolstoy brilliantly follows characters from diverse backgrounds--peasants and nobility, civilians and soldiers--as they struggle with the problems unique to their era, their history, and their culture. And as the novel progresses, these characters transcend their specificity, becoming some of the most moving--and human--figures in world literature.