It’s a demotic theory of history, though not necessarily a socialist view.” Read more... “One doesn’t have to invent the bicycle, there is one: it’s War and Peace. It’s about how Russia won the Napoleonic wars, and moved into the first row of nations who dealt with European history.
Two vintage photographs from the four-fim series, released between 1966 and 1967, showing director Sergey Bondarchuk on a large outdoor battle set. With Italian mime snipes, and stamps of a magazine archive dated August 19, 1964, on the verso.
An epic production, based on Leo Tolstoy's 1869 novel, at the time the most expensive film ever… Read more. Octavo, 260, 295, 260, 302, 281, 276 pages; VG-; fully bound in red, illustrated cloth with black lettering on the spines; shelf wear to the edges of the boards, foot and crown of spines are frayed, bumped corners, pages clean; signed and finger-printed by Barnett Freedman on the limitations… Read more.
Translated by Richard Severe and Larissa VolokhonskyAt eight o’clock Kutuzov rode to Pratt at the head of Miloradovich’s fourth column, the one which was to take the place of the columns of Przebyszewski and Lantern, which had already gone down. He greeted the men of the head regiment and gave the order to move, thus showing that he intended to lead the column himself.
Prince Andrei, one of the enormous number of persons constituting the commander in chief’s suite, stood behind him. Prince Andrei felt excited, irritated, and at the same time restrained calm, as a man usually is when a long-desired moment comes.
Now, entering into Farther’s plan, Prince Andrei pondered the possible happenstances and came up with new considerations, such as might call for his swiftness of reflection and decisiveness. To the left below, in the fog, exchanges of fire between unseen troops could be heard.
Far ahead, on the other shore of the sea of fog, one could make out the jutting, wooded hills on which the enemy army was supposed to be, and something was discernible. To the right the guards were entering the region of the fog, with a sound of tramping and wheels and an occasional gleam of bayonets; to the left, beyond the village, similar masses of cavalry approached and disappeared into the sea of fog.
The commander in chief stood on the road out of the village, letting the troops pass by him. “But tell them, finally, to form into battalions and go around the village,” Kutuzov said angrily to a general who rode up.
An Austrian officer in a white uniform with green plumes on his hat rode up to Kutuzov and asked on behalf of the emperor whether the fourth column had started into action. Kutuzov turned away without answering him, and his gaze chanced to rest on Prince Andrei, who was standing close by.
Seeing Bolkonsky, Kutuzov softened the angry and caustic expression of his gaze, as if aware that his adjutant was not to blame for what was going on. “ET demandez-lui SI less derailleurs sent post é s,” he added.
Overtaking all the advancing battalions, he stopped the third division and ascertained that there was in fact no line of riflemen in front of our columns. The regimental commander stood there in the full conviction that there were more troops ahead of him, and that the enemy was no less than six miles away.
In fact, nothing could be seen ahead but empty terrain sloping away and covered with thick fog. Having ordered on behalf of the commander in chief that the omission be rectified, Prince Andrei galloped back.
Kutuzov still stood in the same place and, his corpulent body sagging over the saddle in old man’s fashion, yawned deeply, closing his eyes. Just then, from well behind Kutuzov, came shouts of regimental greetings, and these voices began to approach quickly along the whole extended line of the advancing Russian columns.
When the soldiers of the regiment Kutuzov was standing in front of began to shout, he rode slightly to one side and, wincing, turned to look. Down the road from Pratt galloped what looked like a squadron of varicolored horsemen.
Kutuzov, with the affectation of a frontline veteran, ordered his standing troops to “attention” and, saluting, rode up to the emperor. With affected deference, which obviously struck the emperor Alexander unpleasantly, he rode up and saluted him.
The unpleasant impression, like the remains of fog in a clear sky, passed over the emperor’s young and happy face and disappeared. He was somewhat thinner that day, after his illness, than on the field of Klutz, where Bolkonsky had seen him for the first time abroad, but there was the same enchanting combination of majesty and mildness in his beautiful gray eyes, and the fine lips had the same possibility of various expressions, with a prevalent expression of good-natured, innocent youth.
He was slightly flushed after galloping two miles and, reining in his horse, gave a sigh of relief and looked around at the faces of his suite, as young, as animated as his own. Czartoryski and Novosiltsev, and Prince Volkonsky and Stoyanov, and the others, all richly clad, cheerful young men on splendid, pampered, fresh, only slightly sweaty horses, talking and smiling, stopped behind the sovereign.
The emperor Franz, a ruddy, long-faced young man, sat extremely straight on his handsome black stallion and looked around him with a preoccupied, unhurried air. “Most likely what time they started,” thought Prince Andrei, observing his old acquaintance, and recalling his audience with a smile he was unable to repress.
In the emperors’ suite there were picked fine young orderly officers, Russian and Austrian, from the guards and infantry regiments. Among them were grooms leading the handsome spare horses of the royalty in embroidered cloths.
As fresh air from the fields suddenly breathes through an open window into a stuffy room, so youth, energy, and certainty of success breathed upon Kutuzov’s cheerless staff as these brilliant young men galloped up. The emperor cupped his ear, frowning slightly and showing that he had not heard properly.
“We’re not on the Tsarists Field, Mikhail Larionovich, where you don’t start a parade until all the regiments are assembled,” said the sovereign, again glancing into the eyes of the emperor Franz, as though inviting him, if not to take part, at least to listen to what he was saying; but the emperor Franz went on looking around and did not listen. “That is just why I do not begin, Sire,” Kutuzov said in a ringing voice, as if to forestall the possibility of not being heard, and again something twitched in his face.
“I do not begin, Sire, because we are not on parade and not on the Tsarists Field,” he uttered clearly and distinctly. All the faces in the sovereign’s suite instantly exchanged glances with each other, expressing murmur and reproach.
The sovereign looked fixedly and attentively into Kutuzov’s eyes, waiting to see if he would say something more. “However, if you order it, Your Majesty,” said Kutuzov, raising his head and again changing his tone to that of a dull, unthinking, but obedient general.
He touched up his horse and, calling to him the column leader Miloradovich, gave him the order to advance. While this Apsheronsky battalion was marching by, ruddy-faced Miloradovich, with no greatcoat, in his uniform tunic and decorations and a hat with enormous plumes, worn at an angle and brim first, galloped ahead how-to, and with a dashing salute, reined in his horse before the sovereign.
“Ma for, sire, nous ferns CE Que quit era days note possibility é, sire!” he replied merrily, nevertheless calling up mocking smiles among the gentlemen of the suite with his bad French. The Apsherontsy, excited by the presence of the sovereign, marched past the emperors and their suite at a dashingly brisk pace, beating their feet.
“Lads!” cried Miloradovich in a loud, self-assured, and merry voice, obviously so excited by the sounds of gunfire, the anticipation of battle, and the sight of his gallant Apsherontsy–his companions from Savory’s time–marching briskly past the emperors, that he forgot the sovereign’s presence. This horse, who had carried the sovereign at reviews while still in Russia, also carried her rider here, on the field of Austerlitz, enduring the distracted nudges of his left foot, pricked up her ears at the sound of gunshots just as she did on the Field of Mars, understanding neither the meaning of the shots she heard, nor the presence of the emperor Franz’s black stallion, nor anything of what her rider said, thought, or felt that day.
The sovereign turned with a smile to one of his retinue, pointing to the gallant Apsherontsy, and said something to him. Having gone less than half a mile at the tail of the column, he stopped by a solitary, deserted house (probably a former tavern), where the road forked.
The fog began to lift, and enemy troops could be dimly seen about a mile and a half away on the heights opposite. Prince Andrei, standing slightly behind him, peered at the enemy and turned to an adjutant, wishing to borrow a field glass from him.
The two generals and the adjutants began snatching at the field glass, pulling it away from each other. The French were supposed to be a mile and a half from us, and they suddenly turned up right in front of us.
With his naked eye, Prince Andrei saw below, to the right, a dense column of French coming up to meet the Apsherontsy, no further than five hundred paces from where Kutuzov was standing. Now it’s my turn,” thought Prince Andrei, and, spurring his horse, he rode up to Kutuzov.
Confused, ever-increasing crowds came running back to the place where, five minutes before, the troops had marched past the emperors. Bolkonsky tried only not to be separated from Kutuzov and looked around in perplexity, unable to understand what was happening in front of him.
Nevsky, looking angry, red, and not like himself, shouted to Kutuzov that if he did not leave at once, he would certainly be taken prisoner. A fresh crowd of fleeing men streamed past, caught him up, and carried him backwards.
The troops were fleeing in such a dense crowd that, once one landed in the middle of it, it was difficult to get out. Someone shouted, “Keep going, don’t drag your feet!” Another, turning around, fired into the air; someone else struck the horse on which Kutuzov himself was riding.
Extricating themselves with the greatest effort from the flow of the crowd to the left, Kutuzov and his suite, diminished by more than half, rode towards the sounds of nearby cannon fire. Extricating himself from the crowd of fleeing men, Prince Andrei, trying to keep up with Kutuzov, saw on the slope of the hill, amidst the smoke, a Russian battery still firing, and the French running up to it.
Slightly higher stood Russian infantry, neither moving ahead to aid the battery, nor backwards in the direction of the fugitives. “Stop those villains!” Kutuzov said breathlessly to the regimental commander, pointing to the fleeing men; but at the same moment, as if in punishment for those words, bullets, like a flock of birds, flew whistling at the regiment and Kutuzov’s suite.
With this volley, the regimental commander seized his leg; several soldiers fell, and an ensign holding a standard let it drop from his hands; the standard wavered and fell, stopped momentarily by the bayonets of the surrounding soldiers. “Bolkonsky,” he whispered in a voice trembling with awareness of his old man’s strengthlessness.
But before he finished saying it, Prince Andrei, feeling sobs of shame and anger rising in his throat, was already jumping off his horse and running towards the standard. “Here it is!” thought Prince Andrei, seizing the staff of the standard and hearing with delight the whistle of bullets, evidently aimed precisely at him.
“Hurrah!” cried Prince Andrei, barely able to hold up the heavy standard, and he ran forward with unquestioning assurance that the entire battalion would run after him. One soldier started out, another, and the whole battalion, with a shout of “Hurrah!” rushed forward and overtook him.
A sergeant of the battalion ran up, took the standard that was wavering in Prince Andrei’s hands because of its weight, but was killed at once. Prince Andrei again seized the standard and, dragging it by the staff, ran with the battalion.
Above him, he heard the unceasing whistle of bullets, and soldiers ceaselessly gasped and fell to right and left of him. Prince Andrei saw clearly the bewildered and at the same time angry expression on the faces of the two men, who evidently did not understand what they were doing.
In fact, another Frenchman with his musket atilt ran up to the fighting men, and the lot of the red-haired artillery, who still did not understand what awaited him and triumphantly pulled the swab from the French soldier’s hands, was about to be decided. It seemed to him as though one of the nearest soldiers, with the full swing of a stout stick, hit him on the head.
“How quiet, calm, and solemn, not at all like when I was running,” thought Prince Andrei, “not like when we were running, shouting, and fighting; not at all like when the Frenchman and the artillery, with angry and frightened faces, were pulling at the swab–it’s quite different the way the clouds creep across this lofty, infinite sky. NOTES On 17 November 1796, fighting the Austrians in northern Italy, Napoleon, at the head of his grenadier and with a banner in this hand, charged onto the bridge at Arc ole to keep the enemy from taking it.
Leo Tolstoy was born in 1828 on his family’s estate in the Tulsa Province of Russia. The author of War and Peace and Anna Karenina, he died in 1910 at a remote rail station in Astapovo, Russia.
“Tolstoy's War and Peace has often been put in a league with Homer's epic poems; it seems to me that the same might be said for Severe and Volokhonsky's translation of his great novel. Their efforts convey a much closer equivalent in English to the experience of reading the original.