I am happy to be back blogging after a brief hiatus to get my feet under me again. One goal I recently completed was the reading of War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. I am not going to critique it because Woody Allen already did so: "It's about Russia." A common complaint about the novel, other than its length, is all the confusing names. Obviously, they're confusing and, being forewarned, I decided to give the characters American names; specifically, southern American names, to reduce my confusion. Natasha, for example, became "Peggy Sue," Dolokhof became "Bubba," and Rostof, "Billy Bob." And so forth. Worked for me, anyway.
I must say, however, I took on War and Peace as a chore, an attempt to plug a hole in my literary education, an effort to quell a vague sense of guilt about my never having read it. And I was surprised to discover that Tolstoy is a master storyteller. Look for future hints on how to enjoy classical literature. I am here to help.