Yes, the War and Peace miniseries currently airing in the U.S. makes for riveting viewing. But is it as riveting, I ask, as watching thirteen hundred Russians recite the entirety of War and Peace over a period of sixty hours?!
Well, I suppose it depends on how you define “riveting,” really. And what you consider the final goal of reading. And whether listening and reading are different. And, of course, your opinions of Tolstoy vis-à-vis the contemporary government, and his descendants’ celebration of his legacy.
The one thing we can all agree on: there’s a deal less gratuitous incest in Tolstoy’s text.
Sadie Stein is contributing editor of The Paris Review, and the Daily’s correspondent.