Archive by Author
Reading War and Peace

Live Blogging War and Peace: Character Is Destiny

Editor’s note: This is the tenth in a series of blog posts by Steven Axelrod, a writer reflecting on Leo Tolstoy’s epic masterpiece, War and Peace, a monumental journey of a novel that he has embarked on completing. There’s nothing quite like the irrational frustration you feel when a beloved fictional character makes a catastrophic […]

Continue Reading →
Reading War and Peace

Live Blogging War and Peace: Calling Audibles

Editor’s note: This is the ninth in a weekly series of blog posts by Steven Axelrod, a writer reflecting on Leo Tolstoy’s epic masterpiece, War and Peace, a monumental journey of a novel that he has embarked on completing this winter. When I started watching the Napoleonic Wars unfold in Part Two of Tolstoy’s epic […]

Continue Reading →
Reading War and Peace

Live Blogging War and Peace: The Proud and the Puny

Editor’s note: This is the eighth in a weekly series of blog posts by Steven Axelrod, a writer reflecting on Leo Tolstoy’s epic masterpiece, War and Peace, a monumental journey of a novel that he has embarked on completing this winter. The theme of this week’s passage through War and Peace is the folly of […]

Continue Reading →
Reading War and Peace

Live Blogging War and Peace: Gemstones and Trash

Editor’s note: This is the seventh in a weekly series of blog posts by Steven Axelrod, a writer reflecting on Leo Tolstoy’s epic masterpiece, War and Peace, a monumental journey of a novel that he has embarked on completing this winter. And so we come to the Napoleonic Wars. The great divide between Parts One […]

Continue Reading →
Reading War and Peace

Live Blogging War and Peace: Scenes and Scenery

Editor’s note: This is the sixth in a weekly series of blog posts by Steven Axelrod, a writer reflecting on Leo Tolstoy’s epic masterpiece, War and Peace, a monumental journey of a novel that he has embarked on completing this winter. “Don’t make a scene,” my wife used to say to me. Odd remark to direct […]

Continue Reading →
Reading War and Peace

Live Blogging War and Peace: Confessions of a Polygamous Reader

Editor’s note: This is the fifth in a weekly series of blog posts by Steven Axelrod, a writer reflecting on Leo Tolstoy’s epic masterpiece, War and Peace, a monumental journey of a novel that he has embarked on completing this winter. My relationship to books has always been carnal. It’s a safe, secret promiscuity. I remember […]

Continue Reading →
Reading War and Peace

Live Blogging War and Peace: Pierre Bezukhov and Tip-Toeing T. Rex

Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of blog posts by Steven Axelrod, a writer reflecting on Leo Tolstoy’s epic masterpiece, War and Peace, a monumental journey of a novel that he has embarked on completing this winter. Sarah Hughes wound up sitting on the ice occasionally; Tiger Woods has missed some easy putts. […]

Continue Reading →
Reading War and Peace

Live Blogging War and Peace: Housekeeping

Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of blog posts by Steven Axelrod, a writer reflecting on Leo Tolstoy’s epic masterpiece, War and Peace, a monumental journey of a novel that he has embarked on completing this winter. A friend of mine complained to me yesterday that the novel’s passages in French disrupted her […]

Continue Reading →
Reading War and Peace

Live Blogging War and Peace: Leo and Jane

Starting a classic novel in translation is like arriving in a foreign city. You look for familiar sights: street signs, even if they’re written in a language or an alphabet you can’t decipher; streets, even if they twist out of sight, cars parked along the curb even if you can’t identify the make and model, […]

Continue Reading →
Reading War and Peace

Live Blogging War and Peace: Leo and I

I have always had a problem with the classics. I find them remote and forbidding. Dauntingly verbose, armored with generations of academic exegisis, their aura of difficulty and virtue sealed under a yellowing veneer of remote time periods and foreign cultures, they were always a chore. I read them for the hard-won satisfaction I felt […]

Continue Reading →