Monday, February 22, 2010

Volume I, Book II, Chapter III

More war. We're in with Kutuzov and the Austrian commander, and member of the Hofkreigsrath, talking strategy. Kuzutov is baiting the Austrian, saying that they would not need the Russians as their generals are so skillful, and that General Mack with his 70,000 men have surely already triumphed. Her reads a letter from Archduke Ferdinand (probably not to be confused with the Archduke Ferdinand whose assassination started WWI. Or Franz Ferdinand, which is a band). The letter is in German.


Now, he's writing in German, too. Kutuzov asks Andrei to gather up all the correspondence and compile it. Andrei, T tells us, is now humming along, satisfied to be doing "pleasant and interesting things. His face expressed more satisfaction with himself and those around him; his smile and glance were more cheerful and attractive". War agrees with him apparently.

Mack stumbles in, and we learn that he has actually been defeated. The entire army surrendered at Ulm. Andrei goes to his room to write his father, and sees Nesvitsky, and Zherkhov, who we met last chapter. (I think it may be time for a new scorecard)
Zherkov mock congratulates the generals as they pass by, and says that Mack just arrived with a small wound, in his head. The general angrily responds in German. Nesvitsky thinks it's funny and puts his arm around Andrei, who pushes him away. Nesvistky asks him what his problem is and he responds angrily, in French for emphasis, that 40,000 men have died and the allies have been destroyed, so there's nothing to laugh about. In French, since he's really angry. He chides Nesvitsky for laughing along, saying he should now better, and "onlyschoolboyscan have fun like that, "Prince Andrei added in Russian, pronouncing the word with a French accent, noticing that Zherkov was still within earshot."

Zherkov says nothing, turns and leaves.

It's clear he was just being a zherkov.

An interesting statement of Andrei's belief and views: "we're either officers serving our tsar and fatherland, and rejoice in our common successes and grieve in our common failures, or we're lackeys, who have nothing to do with their masters' doings".
It's definitely a monarchical was of looking at it, with some sense of entitlement, but it certainly is a way to feel more of use, which Andrei does. There's a bit about how people thought of him back home - he either liked one or didn't, and had no use for you if he didn't. Not the most well-liked. That looks like it's changing.

The battle strategy gets a little confusing, and T references previous battles and war heroes as well. Not people we're too familiar with now. I could use a primer on the War of 1812, the events leading up to it, and Russian, Austrian and French 17th and 18th century governmental structure. I suppose it will become clearer.

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