Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy: Voina i mir [War and Peace]

(2421 words)
  • A.D.P. Briggs (University of Bristol)

Although Voina i mir [War and Peace] has been described more than once as the greatest novel ever written, Tolstoy himself once expressed the view that  it wasn't a novel at all. This claim had a particular purpose. He wanted his readers to expect something broader and deeper than the romances they were used to finding in fiction. There would be no single hero and heroine, no straightforward system of exposition, crisis and resolution, no sense of closure in an orthodox ending. It was a narrative in which the author made up new rules as it expanded, a society novel that turned into a family story, only to grow into a historical chronicle and a mighty epic that was underwritten by a deep interest i…

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Briggs, A.D.P.. "Voina i mir". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 March 2006
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=8682, accessed 04 July 2015.]