Tolstoy’s War and Peace with Rhoda Flaxman
Mondays from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at Wellfleet Library
Class dates: Oct. 21, 28, Nov. 4, 12, 18
“To live in truth in Russia—these were the questions of Tolstoy’s life and work, and the main concerns of War and Peace.”
Orlando Figes, Natasha’s Dance
Through a close study of War and Peace we will work together to achieve a deeper understanding of nineteenth-century Russian history and culture. Focusing on both the content and form of his great work, we will explore techniques by which this master of Realism was able to create art from life. Like Dickens and Eliot, whom he loved, Tolstoy believed art should be mimetic, should recreate reality, and reflect moral truth by reflecting relationships between individuals and society in contemporary times.
Though Tolstoy took five years to complete this novel, we will read it in five weeks, covering approximately 250 pages a week in the new translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky (2007). available from Amazon and elsewhere. I suggest, for ease of reading, that you ask Staples to bind each of Tolstoy’s four volumes separately.
As is our practice, our seminar will operate through a combination of mini-lecture and spirited directed discussion.