They really don’t.
1. The lie in question.
Beauvoir didn’t provide insight of her own here, it’s a paraphrase of certain arguments from Fantasia of the Unconscious by D. H. Lawrence:
Better Anna Karenin and Vronsky a thousand times than Natasha and that
porpoise of a Pierre. This pretty, slightly sordid couple tried so
hard to kid themselves that the ...
The obvious reason why War and Peace is usually described as a novel and not as an epic is that verse is one of the defining characteristics of the epic. Applying the descriptor "epic" to novels is a relatively recent phenomenon in the history of literature. Since the question cites Britannica in support of the claim that War and Peace is an epic, ...