Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lesson 45: War and Peace

I know what you all are thinking.  No, it's not.  I think you all did a double take, but this is not a picture of my father.  It is a picture of Leo Tolstoy, supposedly the author of the best novel ever written.  I've always been curious about the dude, and have been reading about his life much as of late.  War and Peace is his greatest known work and many cultural and literary references are always made to it.  Listen for it; you'll hear it often now that I mentioned it. 

So, who's brave enough to try to tackle the book?  Me.  Yep.  I'm going to do it.  Something I've always wanted to do--read War and Peace, cover to cover, to see what all the fuss is about.  I am taking my own advice, for once.  I tell my students that if they want to learn to be good at something, they have to find people in the field they are interested in and apprentice themselves with them.  Seek out the best in the business and watch them.  Learn from them and do what they do.  Ben Franklin did just that and look how far he got in life.  So, it is time for me to read Tolstoy. 

Obviously, I'll be busy for awhile, so if you don't hear from me, this is what I am doing.  I'll give you updates every now and then to let you know how the story is unfolding.  And in case you are wondering, the book is about Russian history and my copy is 1,386 pages long.

I am not sure how this will go over with my 46 Russian followers.  From what I've been reading about Tolstoy he got mixed reviews from the government at the time.  He doesn't look like that happy of a person, but made friends with Gandhi during his lifetime and became a devout Christian, so he can't be all that bad.  I guess it is time for me to find out.

Mir (that's Russian for peace),

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