Woolf's reading of Tolstoy in her roles as critic, translator, and novelist, is set in the context of discourse about the nation. The Modernist structure of Mrs. Dalloway suggests that as a novelist Woolf challenged Arnold's and Lubbock's readings of Tolstoy, which as a reviewer of Russian fiction she had at first shared. The most telling result of her reading may be traced in the composition of The Years. Like War and Peace it was to represent the family in the context of wartime representations of national history. The incomplete sentence, by means of which speakers of different national languages may create a single syntax, tropes translation as potential communication beyond the bounds of family, class, and nation.