Leo Tolstoy - War and Peace 2010 (this edition), 1869 (first complete publication). Translated by Louse & Aylmer Maude, revised and edited with introduction by Amy Mandelker. Oxford: Oxford World Classics. 1350 pp.

Monumental, unclassifiable. Neither a novel, nor a history, nor any one thing. I recall reading somewhere that Tolstoy simply described it as “what I could write” or some such. I think it is his cosmology, his model and realisation of the human universe, and maybe not just the human one.

Alternating between the story of domestic life in Russian families and several battles of the Napoleonic wars, among many revelations is the way Tolstoy makes the domestic affairs no less dramatic, no less momentous, no less fearful, than the depictions of brutal battle. The smallest events are as important as the greatest, and the great historical figures are merely blowing in the wind. Napoleon is crafted as to be indistinguishable from Donald Trump.