And, finally, the location of the novel shifts . . . whew! . . . for a while there it felt as if we were going to be stuck at the soireé for a couple of weeks.

It’s in this chapter, that we get our first inkling at what might be underlying Andrei’s bitterness towards the high society circles. Ippolit flagrantly chats up of Andrei’s wife, Lise – something which she doesn’t seem to overly object to.

Is there something going on between these two? It’s not exactly clear – after all, Lise is popular with everyone, and Ippolit is an idiot. But Andrei’s world-weary acceptance of it indicates that this is the sort of thing that goes on all the time. (And, at least in Tolstoy’s depiction of the aristocracy, adultery was often going on under the surface and tacitly acknowledged in the parlour-room gossip . . . which we shall hear more about in due course.)

But, hopefully, it gives us a clue as to why Andrei despises everyone at Anna Scherer’s, but yet has time for Pierre. Not because Pierre is an equal companion for him in terms of intellect and maturity – he’s not. But he’s honest, and Andrei appreciates that.

At least, that’s my thinking – what’s your reading of the whole Lise/Ippolit event?

We also find out more about Pierre’s back story, and why he is in St Petersburg . . .

Also, have updated the MindMap to include the Lise/Ippolit subplot.

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2 thoughts on “One-Year War and Peace 1.5

  1. Lise and Ippolit . . . I think it’s just small stuff. I’m up to Book 3 and haven’t heard anything really solid about any relationship between the two – it may be just harmless flirting. But then again, I might be surprised later in the story.

    Since the first time Andrei was introduced at the Soiree, I have been wondering about him and Pierre . . . why is he so entranced with him? You say, it’s because of Pierre’s honesty . . . I wonder.

    I’m not saying Andrei’s a closet homsexual, because many men in Tolstoy’s stories seem to be ‘almost in love’ with other men.

    But still . . . why. That’s something Mr. Tolstoy seems to be saving for later.

    ………………………………………………………….

  2. This is where Pierre, much to Anna P’s concern, bursts out in front of everyone, how he sees ‘Napoleon’s’ side of things, as far as his having murdered the man he found with Madamoiselle George.

    Louis XVII – he gets added, not as an active character, at this point anyways, but I’ll make him # 32. The Queen and also ‘Madame Elizabeth’.

    Aren’t they one and the same people or is she a princess then?

    Anyway – that makes it 34! Rousseau is mentioned here in # 5, so that’ 35 characters!

    ……………………………………………………………….

    And with Hippolyte (Ippoliti) jumping in with that corny joke that nobody really thinks is funny, or understands, the subject has been changed and Anna breathes a sigh of relief.

    The party seems to be rowdying on down.

    ……………………………………………………………….

    See Matt’s Mind Map, indicated above, and the list I’m trying to prepare . . .

    http://wildcity.proboards14.com/index.cgi?board=Books&action=display&thread=3127&page=1

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