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Leo Tolstoy: Dialogues on war

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Russian writers on war

Leo Tolstoy: Selections on war

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Leo Tolstoy
From War and Peace
Translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude

“If no one fought except on his own conviction, there would be no wars,” he said.

“And that would be splendid,” said Pierre.

Prince Andrew smiled ironically.

“Very likely it would be splendid, but it will never come about….”

“Well, why are you going to the war?” asked Pierre.

“What for? I don’t know. I must. Besides that I am going….” He paused. “I am going because the life I am leading here does not suit me!”

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“And I am still arguing with your husband. I can’t understand why he wants to go to the war,” replied Pierre, addressing the princess with none of the embarrassment so commonly shown by young men in their intercourse with young women.

The princess started. Evidently Pierre’s words touched her to the quick.

“Ah, that is just what I tell him!” said she. “I don’t understand it; I don’t in the least understand why men can’t live without wars. How is it that we women don’t want anything of the kind, don’t need it?…”

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. voza0db
    December 19, 2021 at 10:50 am

    How is it that we women don’t want anything of the kind, don’t need it?…” if that princess could see “women” nowadays!

    • December 19, 2021 at 10:58 am

      Bravo. As Germany’s third female war minister in a row today threatens Russia with war while with her nation’s troops near the Russian border. Closer to home with me, the deadliest secretaries of state in the whole thirty-year post-bipolar world period have been Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton. They have the blood of several millions on their hands. The gentle sex.

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