Sunday, November 30, 2008

Activity in the Reading Room

Tolstoy is irksome,overwhelming,sometimes redundant,brutally frank,brilliantly poignant and above all an irresistible force.One can either ignore him or yield to him.I choose to yield, and I am a million times more endowed with the capacity to love his work.I write this with a sense of unapologetic irreverence.I seek comfort in Tolstoy's insistence that events in history aren't the result of the whims of certain individuals.

I sought out 'War and Peace',Tolstoy's epic tale of the Napoleonic invasion of Russia.My readers are probably thrilled with the redundancy in my reiteration of the fact that I'm reading it for the second time(In all fairness, I read only 600 pages the first time).I've strained every nerve to read each word of the last footnote.My memory occasionally fails to recall the trivia,my mind filters out the subtle humor and the characters are like my kin.I loath the irony of Russian battle strategy and crave the disillusionment of Andrew Bolonski.My spirit dances with that of the spontaneous Natasha and alters with the profound changes in the mind of Pierre Bezukhov.One must read Tolstoy as one would regard,with reverence,a fable narrated by a grand raconteur.

I have a hundred or more pages to go before I feel satiated.The book doesn't grip one's senses at the very beginning;it gnarls its roots around them when the end is near and when one realizes that a thousand odd pages aren't quite enough.

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