Thursday, December 13, 2012

War and Peace and WhatamIgettingmyselfinto

I had a very pleasant surprise last week.  The professor for my "Reading in the Digital Age" seminar gave us a copy of the new translation of War and Peace as a gift--so nice of him! 

I was so excited that my joy was not in any way diminished by the assignment that went along with it.  We had to read the first hundred pages--50 in the paper-and-ink version, and 50 on a Kindle or similar device.  (I actually found it much easier to read this on the Kindle.  Perhaps I'll do a separate post about that sometime.)

Seriously, though, what is better than receiving an unexpected Christmas present?

Yes...not a small book. 

But a beautiful book.  Isn't the cover gorgeous?

It's a new and much-hailed translation, too.   Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky are a couple who work together to produce translations.  I am far, far, farrrrrrrrrrr from being a connoisseur of Russian-English translations, but from the examples they gave in the preface, and from what I've read so far, it seems like they really do have something good going on. 

Taken in slow, steady chunks, it's a lot more engaging than I expected it to be.  These characters are REAL like nothing I've ever encountered...  It's pretty intense, actually.

So I've decided that I'm going to read the whole thing this year--I'm getting a head start now, but my goal is to be finished by the end of 2013. 

Aaaand this just so happens to fit along perfectly with the

Classics Reading Challenge!

Hosted by Jessica at Thoughts at One in the Morning, the 2013 Classics Reading Challenge only has one requirement:  read one novel published before 1980 (re-reads allowed).  Feel free to join in the fun!

I've left one thing out of this post.  I'm rather scared and worried this might be a totally idiotic thing to commit to, because this book is....

with rather small print....

wait for it....

1,215 pages long. 

War and Peace, here I come!

PS--The Save-A-Word Saturday theme this week is FREEDOM.  So find yourself an old word and come join us!


  1. Holy crackers, that's a huge book! Good luck on reading it -- I've heard it's a hard one to get through. You've inspired me to pick up some classics in 2013 for the Classic Reading Challenge. Happy reading!

  2. It seems like your War and Peace is my Les Miserables. Really long, but really want to get through it! Good luck with reading it!

    1. Les Miserables is a truly amazing book. Huge, yet completely worth it. I cried a lot. Good luck!

    2. I stopped around page 400 in that one a couple years ago. But what I read was mind-blowing... I'll definitely have to go back to it someday--with kleenex.

  3. Good luck reading War and Peace! It's kind of like reading two or three classics, lol. I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for joining the Classics Challenge! :)

  4. This was a required read for one of my english major friends (the whole book). She enjoyed it very much! Good luck! I just joined the linky list for the Classics Challenge. I won't be reading War and Peace, however. lol.

  5. The thing about reading classics: though they may be long sometimes, they are well worth reading. The content of the book, no matter how much content there is, is what made the book a classic in the first place. Something about War and Peace makes it just as applicable now as it was back when it was written. This is why classic books should always be enjoyed. Good luck with the read!

  6. That is so awesome! Seriously, your teacher is great. And thanks for the heads up on the challenge. I'm heading over right now.

  7. That is a big book! Have fun reading it!