Tolstoy’s crowd scenes

August 28, 2020

A long time ago I read that “War and Peace” was renowned for its great “crowd scenes.”  Possibly this means two-back-to-back crowd scenes in Vol. III, Part 1, Chs. 21-22:  Petya getting nearly crushed by the crowd swarming to see Alexander at the Kremlin; and the Council of the Nobility, attended by Pierre, in which the nobility are asked to join in the cause.  The latter has some of the funniest passages in the book; I laughed so loud my daughter asked what I was laughing at.

Another notable one is Rostopchin siccing the crowd on an unfortunate Russian soldier.

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