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Splitting War and Peace into Just the War and Just the Peace: Origin of the Idea

Posted: January 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Other People | 7 Comments »

A couple years ago, I came up with the idea of separating Tolstoy’s War and Peace into two volumes. Then I went ahead and did that (Just the War, Just the Peace, Emergency Press 2013).

But I didn’t get the idea out of the blue. I got it from my friend, Lauren Hoffman, who once told me she didn’t read all of War and Peace–just the “peace” parts. And she apparently didn’t get the idea on her own, either. Recently, she reminded me that she got it from reading Lois Lowry’s Anastasia at this Address.

In this book, some of the characters talk about skipping through books in “little jumps,” and one specifically mentions reading War and Peace, but skipping through it to read only the “peace” parts. Here’s a small excerpt wherein they discuss these little jumps:


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7 Comments on “Splitting War and Peace into Just the War and Just the Peace: Origin of the Idea”

  1. 1 Pei said at 1:12 pm on January 21st, 2014:

    I think I will hate the war parts too, if I were to read it. So glad now I can just read the peace parts without doing the little jumps!

  2. 2 aarondietz said at 2:12 pm on January 21st, 2014:

    It makes sense–it’s a great novel with both stories working together well, but some people just don’t like war/strategy tales. Others do, but don’t like romance and “regular” life stories. :)

  3. 3 Randy said at 12:44 pm on January 23rd, 2014:

    Is it like watching TV without the commercials? That idea is much older, haha. Eventually, I guess I am going to have to read that tome. Maybe, I’ll give it a go with your split.

  4. 4 aarondietz said at 4:53 pm on January 24th, 2014:

    I’d recommend it as a way to have more fun reading it–seeing how the narratives intertwine and mix adds a fun element to the journey (like, during a party, say, you get one side of the party in Just the War, where they’re talking about the war while they’re at the party, and in Just the Peace, you get all the other gossip and romance-y stuff). It’s also a way to see how brilliant Tolstoy was in his ability to join these two narratives into one complete tale.

  5. 5 Randy said at 1:13 pm on January 28th, 2014:

    Of course, I am now curious… were you and Lauren fawning over nudie pics when you had this revelation? ha-ha!

  6. 6 aarondietz said at 2:17 pm on January 28th, 2014:

    Most certainly not. We keep things SFW.

  7. 7 Randy said at 3:05 pm on January 28th, 2014:

    Good plan. I’ve seen those Anastasia books before and wondered at their appropriateness for the target audience.


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