Tuesday, September 23, 2008

War and Peace - it's about time

It took a long time to tackle this goal, but I'm finally reading War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy's greatest novel, they say. I did read Anna Karenina way back when, which others argue is better. The only way to truly know is read both.

W & P...when you read a book written so long ago, you wonder how much application it has to today's world. Well, one thing's for sure. When Leo is writing about the social norms of his day, and how everyone is jockeying to get one up on each other, that sure rings a bell in '08.
More thoughts on this to follow, once I dig deeper.

One thing is for certain..the book is darn heavy. I had a Norton Critical edition, but the book was too big and long (length-wise) to read in any kind of relaxing way. Then I found out that Sharon had another copy of the book from the Modern Library. You can read this version while lying down without pulling out the ligaments in your thumb from all the weight you're holding.

Someone should think about printing the book in thirds, for portablility purposes.
It turns out that was done way back in 1915, which I found out on Google Books.

Of course an easier way to carry W & P around would via download on your iPhone (if you can read that small) or on your computer. Google scanned the entire book which they got from the UC Berkeley library. What I found fascinating was that this book has not been checked out since February 3, 1964.

I know there is a whole movement afoot to teach college students the Classics. So why hasn't this book been checked out in over 44 years?
--John Anderson

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