This week was the first week of Hanna's War and Peace readalong and I just managed to finish the chapters in time! Despite that though I'm actually really enjoying it, and, who would have thought, War and Peace, actually quite fun reading.
Answering Hanna's questions as I'm doing three things at once and totally exhausted! One little quibble though - I really don't like it when they translate people's names. A name isn't a word you have to understand so why translate it? If someone's name is Lise it's Lise, not Liza!
1) What pre-existing ideas did you have about War & Peace?
That it was going to be reeeeally long and dry with a lot about peasants.
2) On that note, is it as bad as you'd expected? :P
Nowhere near. I'm actually really enjoying it so far. I've heard it described as the soap opera of the age and I can see that. I love all the gossip and weirdly love the amount of characters -there are enough who appear through a few of the storylines to keep it together but enough diversity that I don't feel like I'm just reading about the same people page after page after page!
Reading a few chapters a night. Honestly though I'm finding I actually want to keep reading!
4) How are you getting along with your translation?
Initially I hated it. I'm reading the Vintage edition some people have been having issues with as it's constantly in French so you have to read from the footnotes and it's a little bit disjointed. I thought I was going to have to switch but then my uni brain kicked in and I'm ok with the footnotes thing now.
5) Most and least favourite characters?
I really like Lise but agree with Hanna's point about Tolstoy's constant reference to her facial hair. Why, Tolstoy? Just leave her alone! I also quite like Pierre and Natasha Rostov.Dislike most of the Princes... Vassily, Andrei, Anatole (is that his name?), Andrei and Marya's dad. He sucks quite a lot.
6) How do you feel about the way women are treated in the book?
I'm not in love with it. So far the women are the characters I like the most (except Anna Mikhailovna - apologies if I've spelled it wrong - I feel like she's probably a bit of a conniving bitch) and I don't like how people keep treating them like eye candy. And I particularly dislike how Tolstoy patronises Lise/Liza. Poor girl, she's so nice to everyone, can they all just stop patting her on the head and being mean to her?!
I'm excited about next week!