I feel like I’m in some sort of surreal mental institution, like in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.  Again, the novel comes full circle on itself, and Captain Tushin – he of the brave stand with the artillery back in Book 2, who was rescued from disgrace by Prince Andrei – makes an appearance.  Minus an arm.

And there is Denisov, still stubbornly holding out that he has done the right thing, not wanting to appeal to the Tsar for forgiveness, because it will mean admitting that he was wrong.

Again, I don’t feel like there’s too much I can add to this chapter, except that this is another example of where the epic novel starts to pay off.  Because we have seen so much of Denisov in the book already – think little throwaway moments like his crazy mazurka with Natasha at the ball in Moscow – it’s quite a contrast and quite sad to see this energetic, life-filled man, reduced to an invalid under a blanket.

I also can’t remember what happens to him after this as well, which also makes it more poignant for me.  (I’ll just have to keep reading, won’t I?)

I’ll do my best to get back here tomorrow, but the Festival kicks off in full force at 10 am tomorrow.

In the meantime, ABC Classic FM is somewhere in the 30s for the Classic 100 Chamber Music Countdown.  There’s been some good pieces so far, but it can only get better, I’m sure.  I’ve still got my money on the “Trout” Quintet being number 1, but I guess we’ll all know by tomorrow afternoon.


2 thoughts on “One-Year War and Peace 5.18 – Denisov in Hospital

  1. Yes, there is certainly something rather sad and pathetic about Denisov in this chapter – and I’m not sure whether he is at his most pathetic when he is trying to hold onto his argument that he was in the right with the incident with the stolen provision (with his hour long expalantion that everyone has had to sit through), or when he finally and suddenly gives in at the end of it all. In any event, you certainly get an impression in this chapter that life has become unbearably empty and glum for these men – except perhaps for Tushin who still seems to have his same gentle respect for others.

    I see we really are coming down to the wire now with the Chamber music countdown, and that most of my choices have already gone. You could very well be right in your predictions, Matt – but I notice the Schubert C Major Quintet is still not there and it must surely get a place somewhere near the top. And Tod und das Mädchen, too, of course. And I bet the Schubert Notturno will be there, too, somewhere. So that’s four Schuberts between us – but then he really did do some superb chambr music, so you would expect a lot from him in a thing like this. I wonder if Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik fits the criteria? I have to confess that I can’t stand it myself, but if it qualifies as chamber music it’ll surely be somewhere high up the list.

    I heard tonight on ABC FM that there are two quartets and a trio and “some other musicians” playing in tomorrow night’s concert. Which really doesn’t help one bit!!

  2. Man With One Arm – At the hospital . . .

    The first person Rostov met in the officers’ ward was a thin little man with one arm, who was walking about the first room in a nightcap and hospital dressing gown, with a pipe between his teeth.

    Stout Uhlan – at the hospital

    Only the man who had the next bed, a stout Uhlan, continued to sit on his bed, gloomily frowning and smoking a pipe, and little one-armed Tushin still listened, shaking his head disapprovingly.


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