As it happened, my local library put together what they called the Big Book Club in an effort to tackle books with extraordinary page lengths, starting this summer with Tolstoy’s War and Peace. I registered to get notifications and took a deep breath looking at the reading schedule, which put us at an average of 100 or so pages a week.
But I can’t deny that when Tolstoy got it, he really got it and these War and Peace quotes (as translated by Severe and Volokhonsky) illustrate that. If you’re not up to ascending the mountain that is War and Peace, take a gander at these quotes, and you’ll just about get the gist.
‘What would she feel,’ he wondered, ‘if she saw me here now, on this field, with cannon aimed at me?’ “ “Natasha fell in love from the moment she entered the ballroom.
Did I miss some of your favorite War And Peace quotes ? When you buy through these links, Book Riot may earn a commission.
“Here I am alive, and it’s not my fault, so I have to try and get by as best I can without hurting anybody until death takes over.” “Man cannot possess anything as long as he fears death.
We imagine that as soon as we are torn out of our habitual path all is over, but it is only the beginning of something new and good. “A Frenchman’s self-assurance stems from his belief that he is mentally and physically irresistibly fascinating to both men and women.
On what condition are the wills of the masses transferred to one person? On condition that the person express the will of the whole people.
“When one’s head is gone one doesn’t weep over one’s hair!” Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace “We imagine that when we are thrown out of our usual ruts all is lost, but it is only then that what is new and good begins.
“It’s too easy to criticize a man when he’s out of favor, and to make him shoulder the blame for everybody else’s mistakes.” Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace “But our idea is that the wolves should be fed and the sheep kept safe.
“He never chooses an opinion, he just wears whatever happens to be in style.” “I don’t give a damn unless I’m fond of a person;but I’d sacrifice my life for those I am fond of; the rest I’d throttle if they stood in my way… And you may not believe me but if I still set a value on life it is only because I still hope one day to meet such a heavenly creature who will regenerate me, purify me and elevate me.
“In order to understand, observe, deduce, man must first be conscious of himself as alive.” “A good player who loses at chess is genuinely convinced hat he has lost because of a mistake, and he looks for this mistake in the beginning of his game, but forgets that there were also mistakes at ever step in the course of the game, that none of his moves was perfect.
The mistake he pays attention to is conspicuous only because his opponent took advantage of it.” “Man lives consciously for himself, but serves as an unconscious instrument for the achievement of historical, universally human goals.
You will die and learn everything–or stop asking.” “If there is a God and future life, there is truth and good, and man’s highest happiness consists in striving to attain them.
It is a ray of light in the darkness, a shade between sadness and despair, showing the possibility of consolation.” “I often think how unfairly life’s good fortune is sometimes distributed.
“There is no greatness where simplicity, goodness and truth are absent” Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace “This history of culture will explain to us the motives, the conditions of life, and the thought of the writer or reformer.
The hardest thing is to be able in your soul to unite the meaning of all. “It was as if the main screw in his head, which held his whole life together, had become stripped.
“Life meanwhile, the actual life of men with their real interests of health and sickness, labor and rest, with their interests of thought, science, poetry, music, love, affection, hatred, passion, went its way, as always, independently, apart from the political amity or enmity of Napoleon Bonaparte, and apart from all possible reforms.” “The subject of history is the life of peoples and of humanity.