Friday, November 11, 2011

Vol I, Part Two, Ch XVII: Battle Noises

So the book is getting decidedly gory. The descriptions of battle are so wonderfully vivid, filled with sensory detail and, in particular, sounds:

p. 180

He had barely finished speaking when there again came an unexpected, dreaful whistle, suddenly ending in a thud against something liquid, and f-f-flop-- a Cossack, riding a little to the right and behind the auditor, crashed to the ground with his horse.
p. 181

While he was on his way there, a shot rang out from that cannon, deafening him and his suite

p. 181

Below the elevation on which the Kievsky regiment stood, in the river hollow, the soul-wrenching roll and crackle of musketfire could be heard...

p. 182

As he was riding away from the battery, shots were also heard to the left, in the woods...

What strikes me: Tolstoy is not just reporting sounds, but where they are coming from, so we get a sense of space. It feels cinematic.

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