Reading for Thursday 16/10/08
And here we have more description of the interactions between Bolkonsky and Speranski. I won’t go into all the details, but I recognised myself a bit in this chapter. Probably two things:
1) Andrie’s dissatisfaction that when he is in the city, he can carry on all these intellectual conversations, but it’s all just recycling the things that he thought about while he’s in the country. This is so true. It’s only when you take a break from everything and get some headspace that you can come up with the original thoughts that will sound good when you’re talking to other people. However, if you spend your entire time hanging around with other people, you’ll never have any original thoughts.
That’s why I find people who are non-stop socialisers to be somewhat inane . . . You need other people to discuss ideas with, but you need solitude to think up ideas. And certainly the amusing notion that anything intelligent that Andrei did say was something that he’d already said to half a dozen people over the last few days is very amusing. That’s me. I come up with one thought, and find myself using it about half a dozen times in different conversations . . . all the time hoping that these people don’t run into one another and realise that I’ve only been recycling the same conversation . . .
2) The delight that Andrei and Speranski take in having their intelligent conversations with one another and feeling superior to everyone else. I’m trying to break this habit, but I must admit that in my younger days, there have been several occasions where I’ve taken some pleasure in feeling like I know more than – well, at least than whoever else we’re talking about. (You notice how these conversations rarely bring up the people that you feel inferior to?)
Hmm . . . this is all a bit rambly, and it may only make sense to me.
Ah well, we’ll be back tomorrow with Pierre, so this will give us a change of pace, anyway. See you then!