Lifestyle, Reviews: books and art events

“Last Friday Night” – the Tolstoy style

No matter how wild your Friday night was, I bet you [hopefully] can’t beat the characters of L. Tolstoy’s War and Peace in rowdiness.  Have you ever drank a full bottle of rum in one go while sitting on a windowsill, or tied a policemen to a bear and let both of them swim in a canal? Hopefully you haven’t, but Tolstoy’s guys have.

Don’t take my word for it. Here are some quotes:

Dolokhov, the bottle of rum still in his hand, jumped onto the window sill. “Listen!” cried he, standing there and addressing those in the room. All were silent.

“I bet fifty imperials”- he spoke French that the Englishman might understand him, but he did, not speak it very well- “I bet fifty imperials… or do you wish to make it a hundred?” added he, addressing the Englishman.

“No, fifty,” replied the latter.

“All right. Fifty imperials… that I will drink a whole bottle of rum without taking it from my mouth, sitting outside the window on this spot” (he stooped and pointed to the sloping ledge outside the window) “and without holding on to anything. Is that right?”

“Quite right,” said the Englishman.

from http://www.online-literature.com/tolstoy/war_and_peace/9/

and

Those three got hold of a bear somewhere, put it in a carriage, and set off with it to visit some actresses! The police tried to interfere, and what did the young men do? They tied a policeman and the bear back to back and put the bear into the Moyka Canal. And there was the bear swimming about with the policeman on his back!

from http://www.online-literature.com/tolstoy/war_and_peace/10/

There is much more to War and Peace than a bunch of rowdy guys wrecking the city and their own lives. You can read the whole thing [if you dare] here http://www.online-literature.com/tolstoy/war_and_peace/

I am reading War and Peace in original now, so I’ll try to keep you updated in terms of amusing/interesting events that take place there.  I’ll save serious reflections for later – when I will finish reading the entire 4 volumes. Please, don’t ask me how many years it will take (hopefully less years than I have left till the end of grad school).

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