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

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:

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

  • January 21, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    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!

  • January 21, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    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. 🙂

  • January 23, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    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.

  • January 24, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    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.

  • January 28, 2014 at 1:13 pm

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

  • January 28, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Most certainly not. We keep things SFW.

  • January 28, 2014 at 3:05 pm

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

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