Friday, March 26, 2010

Volume I, Book III, Chapter XIV

Okay, here's where it gets a little complicated about geography, so to really follow this I'd need a map.

I love how Tolstoy calls the Russian troops "us", as if allegiance is assumed. That's fair, and I kind of like the familiarity.

The soldiers get up and march in the fog. There's a great description of the whole body of soldiers, the way things are communicated as a through water - quickly, and not quite clearly how. In this case, after marching for a bit, and having no officers cheering them on (since they don't want to do this and think it's a bad idea - "as we saw at the council of war"), the soldiers start to get disillusioned. And they blame the confusion on the Germans, "now ascribing the cause of the disorder with particular pleasure and naturalness to the muddleheaded Germans, everyone became convinced that the harmful confusion taking place was the doing of the sausage makers."

Well, at least no one is trafficking in cultural stereotypes.

So they march through the fog, and right into the trap set by Napoleon. The last of the chapter is his enjoying his moment, in no rush, seeing that the Russian army is marching right into a valley, thinking that he's ahead of them, and he can now attack them. There's much more, but that's the basis.

He waves his glove to signal attack, and his men jet off to give the order.

It's an interesting description of war - marching in formations toward hand to hand combat. It's very organized, it seems. The Revolutionary war was not even twenty years before (and not even over in some sense), so that method of fighting obviously had not made it over yet.

Still, within this battle framework, great descriptions of men and what move them.

No comments:

Post a Comment