Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Vol IV, Part Four, Chapters XII-XIII: Finally Back to Pierre

Ayyy, finally the history lesson, which was interesting but bloated and pretentious, has ended, and we're back to Pierre. He's back in society, free of his scheming wife (she's died, happily), and he's become spiritually enlightened --
p. 1104

"[H]e had learned to see the great, the eternal, and the infinite in everything... Now, to this question "Why?" a simple answer was always ready in his soul: because there is God, that God without whose will not a single hair falls from a man's head."

A little Sunday Schooly, but... OK.

Here again, as with so many things, Tolstoy gets away with what a modern writer could not-- at least in the eyes of this reader. Seriously, a lot of theories about Jesus in your novel would not only make me quit reading but curl my toes. So, why does Tolstoy get away with it? In part because, well, he's Tolstoy-- by which I mean, well, he's famous and so reading him gives me something to talk with other people I respect and know who have read him, which I cannot say about contemporary "Christian" novelists. So I'll admit to a little sociological incentive. However, in so many places Tolstoy has revealed such profound and majestic perceptions about human nature that I forgive far, far more than I would any other author.

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