Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Volume I, Book III, Chapter XVIII

This chapter is sad. And I'm on my way to go to the airport to catch a red-eye, so this will be short.

Nikolai gets confused, going into where the battle is, as he's told Kuzutov and the Emperor have been killed, and then that they haven't. No one knows where they are, but it's clear that they've lost. The troops are in disarray.

In the middle of a field that the French have ceased shooting at since it's covered with dead, Nikolai sees the Emperor. He is overtaken, and T says "as a young man in love trembles and thrills" he is too terrified to talk to him. He figures he should be left alone to mourn the loss, and as he rides away he sees a Captain go up, help him across a ditch, and talk to him soulfully. This just makes him sadder. He goes into the village to find Kuzutov.

Meanwhile, near a patch of ice, Dolokhov (now an officer) is injured and leads a group of people onto some ice to cross a dam. Cannons are firing all around, and his regimental commander gets smashed by a cannonball. The ice begins to crack, but at this point the crowd is screaming at everyone to go into it, so people are rushing in, ice is breaking, cannons are firing and people are getting killed left and right.


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