No, seriously – kissing.  That’s what this chapter is all about.  Countess Rostov would be horrified.

By the way, if some of you have been wondering why the count is referred to as Count Rostov and his wife is Countess Rostova, it’s because in Russian, apparently your last name varies depending on your sex.  I guess in English it would be like calling Mr and Mrs Smith, Mr Smith and Mrs Smithette.

Which we’d never do . . .

Guess that’s why we’re not Russian.

Anyway, that’s my bit of Russian trivia for you.  And, as Dave E so rightly commented, in a novel that’s this long, and we’re only this far into, to start talking about things like being together forever on the eve of a major war is perhaps a bit dangerous . . . but then again, it’s these kind of things that epics are built on.  What will happen in four years time when Natasha is old enough for Boris?

Unless you’re a book-peeker (the lowest form of reader, who really does deserve to be either a) illiterate or b) only be allowed to read serialised stories in magazines), then you’ll just have to wait and find out in a few months.

Sorry, I should list today’s chapters, but I don’t have the books on me.  But it was one chapter for everyone today, so that should make it easy.  If you haven’t read about lots of kissing, then you’re not there yet.

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6 thoughts on “One-Year War and Peace 1.10 – K-I-S-S-I-N-G

  1. Just to clear up the whole “Rostov/Rostova” thing, let’s do some brief linguistics. I’m a little rusty so apologies to anyone who knows better and picks up some mistakes.

    The English language doesn’t have gender, so it’s all the same whether it’s his book or her book, or whatever. In contrast, Russian (like most European languages) has gender. So you have things like “la” and “le” (that’s french, ’cause I can’t remember an easy Russian example) which both mean “the”, but are used with different nouns depending on whether the object is male or female. Eg a book might be female and get “la”, while a table might be male and get “le”. It’s this gender thing which gives you Rostov (masculine) and Rostova (feminine). If I remember rightly, it also changes depending on whether the agent is male or female. So there are four (or more when you include neutral) options depending on whether the object is male or female and whether it’s being used by a man or a woman.

    To make things even more interesting, Russians also use patronyms. They don’t have a middle name per-se, but their father’s (patro) name (nym) is the middle name. There are a couple of variantions, but in most cases it’s -vich/vech for guys and -eva for girls. So if Grigory Antonov had a son Mikhail and a daughter Natalia, they would be Mikhail Grigorevich Antonov and Natalia Grigoryeva Antonova.

    Clear as mud?

  2. I’ve got it . . .

    We call couples Mr & Mrs . . . so my mother’s name would have been ‘Mrs. Hainsworth’ and Dad’s name was ‘Mr. Hainsworth’.

    Dad’s middle name was Ernest and everybody called him that, seeing as how his first name was the same as his father’s – William.

    It wouldn’t do to go calling out – Hey! Bill Senior!

    My mother didn’t have a middle name . . . her family couldn’t afford one, she used to tell us – ha ha!

    So she was MRS H or ‘Lilian . . . Lil’.

    And that’s just about as complicated as calling them
    ‘Hainsworth’ and ‘Hainswortha’, isn’t it?

    I, btw, and it’s not really a ‘btw’, ’cause it’s the reason I opened this post . . . I kinda’ like the idea of the patronym name . . . Mary Jones marries Bill Black – she would become ‘Mary Jones Black’, and everybody still knows who she is!

    She could still have another birth name, such as ‘Ann’ and be ‘Mary Ann Jones Black’.

    Their kids could carry the name ‘Jones’, if she so preferred. ‘Twould get a rangey eventually though – especially if their kids carried on the ‘Jones’, the ‘Black’ and attached them to their married names.

    But this is good . . . if a couple has only daughters, they can have them use their surname as a middle name and thereby carry on their name.

    White, for instance, has only daughters – his daughter could have a son and call him ‘William Ernest White Black’ . . .

    The son would therefore marry at some time and be able to carry on the name of ‘White’ . . .

    Oh, you could listen to me all day, I’ll betcha’ . . . if ya’ had earplugs, eh?

  3. Hi Carly,

    The only difference would be that the way the patronymic works is that if Mary Jones married Bill Black, she wouldn’t become Mary Jones Black. It’s more to do with her Dad’s first name.

    So if her Dad’s name was Edward, it would be something like:

    Mary Edwina Jones.

    She could then possibly become Mary Edwina Black, but it would be her Dad’s first name that she carries around.

  4. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh!

    I see . . . well, ya’ got me that time.

    Thanks for the info . . . so I woulda’ been ‘Carol Williama (Wilemenia, maybe) Jones.

    OK – I’ll live with it.

  5. My post Oct 1st, 2k8 . . .

    This thing with the names drives me batty . . . and the way he refers to the people in different ways – I’m still puzzled about ‘the visitor’ and ‘the visitor’s daughter’, but I’ll leave it alone for now.

    The thing about the kissing – I identify with this – when we were all around 11, 12, 13, we were into the kissing games – nobody extracted promises of marriage from each other though.

    To my count of 54 I will be adding the following:

    None . . . so there’s still 54.

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