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Tolstoi L.N. Voina i Mir. [War and peace].

Tolstoi L.N. Voina i Mir. [War and peace]. Volume one-[six]. First edition. Moscow, T. Ris, Vols.I-IV: 1868; Vols. V-VI: 1869. In 6 Vols. Contemporary half calf (spinies renewed, some pages slightly stained and worn). Internally a clean and fresh copy. Format: 23x16 cm.

Vol.I, Pt.I:[4], 297 p.p.; Pt. II: 146 p.p.

Vol.II: [4], 186 p.p.

Vol.III: [4], 284 p.p.

Vol.IV: [4], 336 p.p.& Vol.IV: [4], 338 p.p. [second Issue].

Vol.V: [4], 323 p.p.

Vol.VI:[4], 290 p.p.

Vol. IV is presented also to the second Issue, differing from the first Issue quantity of pages: 336 p. p. and 338 p.p. accordingly. The same situation - the third volume: 281 p.p. and 284 p.p. accordingly, but we have only one Issue - 284. Very rare!

Reference literature:

1. Printing and the Mind of Man. ( PMM), Voina i mir, №273.

2. The Kilgour collection of Russian literature 1750-1920. Harvard-Cambrige, 1959, №1195.

3. Bitowt Uyrii «A Count Leo Tolstoy in literature and art», Moscow, 1903, p. 42.

In September 1862 Tolstoy married the eighteen-year-old daughter of a doctor Sofia Andreevna Bers and just after the wedding took her away from Moscow to Yasnaya Poliana where he became utterly adsorbed in home life and everyday cares. However even from the fall of 1863 he became enthusiastic about a new literary idea which for a long time was called «The year of eighteen and five» and the first 2 parts under this title were published separately in Moscow in the university printing house of M. Katkov in Strastnoy Boulevard in 1866. The time of creation of the novel was the period of elation, family happiness and quiet lonely literary work. Tolstoy used to read memoirs and correspondence of people the Alexander’s epoch (including materials of the Tolstoy’s and the Volkonsky’s), work in archives, study Masonic manuscripts, go to Borodino field moving ahead in the work slowly, through lots of editions (it is his wife who used to help him with copying manuscripts disproving in that way their friends’ jokes that she was still as young as if she were playing dolls), and only in the beginning of 1865 he published in the Russian bulletin the first 2 parts of "War and peace" (and still under the same working name «The year of eighteen and five»). [1865: №1 and №2 – p.p. 1-156, 564-627, 1866: 2,3,4, p.p. 763-814, 313-340 and 690-733]. The Novel was read greedily causing lots of responses and amazing with the combination of wide epic canvas and keen psychological analysis, with vivid picture of private life organically inserted in history. Heated arguments provoked the subsequent parts of the novel in which Tolstoy developed the fatalistic philosophy of history. But it did not go in this way: the author describes events of military and civil history of the world intertwining them with pictures of family and public life of Russia.

Tsars and commanders on the one side and masses of soldiers on the other side, heroes and the masses, the girlie and subsequently the grown-up girl Natasha Rostova with her limited, filled with charm of youth and happy personal world, and Andrey Bolkonsky and Pierre Bezuhov living with complex public and political interests of the time, diplomatic fuss and events where human destiny, movement of armies, battles, military parades, councils of war, death and births are settled by blood instead of chatter, and all this is found within the grandiosely wide framework of the Tolstoy novel. The breadth of scope of reality is impressive. Tolstoy’s strength, his composition mastery is in combination of grandiosity of the occurring events with the interest of life of a single little human being. And the words «Great lies in little!» are not mere words in this masterpiece! «War and peace» is the chronicle: events develop in time sequence with such dynamics and with such variety of touches of contrast or internal deep accord that makes this chronicle the classical composition. The image of «peace» in the meaning of the Universe prevails over the image of «war» as action. There could be heard the reproaches that the writer «had transferred» to people of the beginning of the XIX-th century the intellectual requirements of his epoch as the idea of the novel about the Patriotic war indeed the answer to the problems that moved the Russian after-reform society. Tolstoy himself characterized his idea as the attempt «to write history of the people» and considered it was impossible to define its genre nature («it wouldn’t not match any form, neither a novel, nor a narrative, nor a poem, nor a story»). It would be desirable to note one important matter that was missed by Western biographers of Lev Nicholaevich Tolstoy and which concerns the title of the book. The proverbial phrase «to put a dot over i», i.e. to bring the final clearness exists in many European languages including Russian. But where does this «i» from in Russian language? – one might ask the question and he would be right - in fact such a letter is not present in Russian language. But it did present before. Right up to 1917. The orthographic reform that was thought of even before the February Revolution and realized after the Great October Revolution cancelled this letter together with yat, phi and ijitsa having also chopped off hard signs in the end of words. The western name of the Tolstoy masterpiece looks in the following way: War and Peace. And everything looks correct at first sight. In English «War» shall mean war, i.e. military actions, and the «Peace» shall mean «peace», i.e. absence of military actions. And everything is clear about the war – there are no different interpretations. And there is a certain disagreement concerning the word «peace» in this context. The first desire was to attribute this to translators. But it is the wrong way. Formally they are right: it was translated literally. It is this name that Tolstoy gave to his novel. In the original it is written in this way: «Война и миръ»! And still something prevents from saying that it is translated adequately. And the matter is as follows. In modern Russian language this word includes two groups of meanings. The first one is: the Universe; a planet; the Earth; the population of the globe; the human society, etc. And another one is concordant relationships, calmness, lack of enmity, wars and quarrels; the agreement of belligerent parties. There is the difference between the two versions of the word. And it is so important that in pre-reform Russian literature the first group of meanings had another way of writing – «мiръ», i.e. in the root of the word there had been used letter «i» that was subsequently cancelled. Having received in 1868 the proof-sheet of the first volume of the prepared for publishing novel under the title «The year of eighteen and five» Tolstoy crossed it out and wrote another one with his own hand: «Война и миръ» (that had to be understood as «War and peace»). And, probably, has made it hastily as he even forgot to put the diacritical mark above letter «й» in the word «война» (war) and the following appeared from under his hand: «Воина и миръ». («The Kilgour Collection of Russian Literature». 1750-1920. Harvard College Library. 1959). Having written on the title page of the proof-sheet «Воина и миръ», Tolstoy latere in his latter the publisher of The Russian bulletin used another version of the title - «Война и мiръ». Having used the word «мiръ» having the wider, one could say, philosophical character, than the word ‘миръ» which is more specific, Tolstoy made it clear (knowingly or unwittingly) which meaning he wanted to bring to the title of his composition. N.N. Gusev, the historian of literature who served from 1907 to 1909 as Tolstoy’s personal secretary and who considered the title "War and peace" to be canonic one explains the case of Tolstoy’s writing through «i» denary that Lev Nicholaevich was in a hurry to sign the terms of the contract with his publisher. (N.N. Gusev. Lev Nicholaevich Tolstoy. Materials to the biography from 1855 to 1869. Publishing house of Academy of Sciences of the USSR, p. 742). In other words, he forgot hurriedly that earlier he had put down with his own hand on the title - "миръ", instead of "мiръ". B.M. Ejhenbaum and B.I. Bursov adhere to the same point of view. It means that both the meanings were very close to each other for Tolstoy. It is necessary to emphasize that they are always close to each other for every Russian, they have always been homophones and now they are also visually indiscernible. In other languages they sound and look in different way. And the explanation thereto lies in the national character. All this is the evidence that the title of the book is of wide and full of different meaning sense». This idea has found its development in V. Ermilov work «Tolstoy as an artist and novel "War and peace" (Goslitizdat, 1961, p. 17) where he comes to the conclusion that «... The concept of peace in the meaning of absence of wars shall become the category of artistic action only and then when it is included in the broader concept of the universal human unity as it actually takes place in the novel. «Мiръ and мир» merge in a single whole». It could be possible to give here some more references to supporters of the similar point of view, but we shall limit ourselves with the following examples only adding a couple of moments in favor thereof. In one of the episodes of the novel (volume 1, part 2, chapter 4) Russian military cadet Nicholay Roctov in the impulse of fraternization with the Austrian farmer from under Braundau joyfully exclaims after him in German: Vivat die ganze Welt! («Long live the whole world!») Die Welt, that is мiръ, world. Here is the semantic filling of this multipronged Russian word that was put in the title of the Tolstoy novel. It is also the same in Schopenhauer work called «The World as will and representation» in which Tolstoy took a great interest within the period of publishing his novel together with his close friend poet Athanasius Fet (Lev Nicholaevich even started to translate this work but it is Fet who finally translated it). «Schopenhauer in his «Wille» («the short name of the German original «The World as will and representation») says the same thing as we do approaching from the other side, - wrote Tolstoy in his letter to Fet of May 10, 1869 (L.N.Tolstoj. Correspondence with Russian writers, Vol.1, M. »Art. Lit.», 1978, p. 390.) Moreover, once in 1913 in Russia, i.e. before the orthographic reform it is this title «Война and мiръ» under which the novel was published. Where the word «мiръ» also matches the second, broader, «philosophical» concept. Perhaps, the publishers had enough grounds to resort to this version. Although the author was not alive, his relatives and heirs were in full health. And the publishers for certain had not only their specific reasons, but also the sanction for this version. So, there are serious reasons to consider, that it is not the antithesis at all that was put in the title of the novel by Tolstoy. Here is not the same antonym structure as, say, in his story «The Master and the worker». In his composition Tolstoy considers war as the phenomenon in the plan to be common to all mankind as an unnatural form of human society, «the planet of people» according to the famous expression of Saint-Ecsupery. In the end of the 3-rd part of the 4-th volume of the novel Tolstoy writes: «... Since the world («міръ») exists there was no war under those strange conditions under which it occurred in the year of 1812». Here is the same correlation between words «war" and "world (міръ)» as it was put in the title of the novel. And the flat antithesis is hardly satisfactory in this case. For the sake of analogy we shall mention here the Majakovsky anti-war poem «War and world (мiръ)» that was published even in 1917 in old Russia!

 

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