Now here was something I’d completely forgot about.  For some reason, I didn’t remember that Boris and Natasha had this reunion.

Still, what a great chapter, eh? (Again, all the great things about long novels are starting to pay off – when a couple like this get back together after four years – it feels like four years).

I think the most amusing thing (in a black sort of way) was the bit where Boris (happily carrying on an affair with a married woman) considers that it would be wrong to lead Natasha on if he has no intention of marrying her . . . Where’d he suddenly discover his moral compass from?

But then again – it might not be a throwaway detail.  It could actually hint at the fact that while Boris takes whatever he gets (whether it be promotion, fame, women, etc.), there are things that are actually out of his reach.  After all, there’s something so innocent about Natasha (compared with the shallowness and unfaithfulness of Helene) that I can completely understand how he gets drawn in.

Of course, those of you who haven’t read the book are probably all screaming at the book, “No, Natasha! No! Don’t! Don’t!”

But we’ll just have to wait till tomorrow.

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4 thoughts on “One-Year War and Peace 6.12 – A reunion

  1. Like you, Matt, I had forgotten that this reunion happened, but I’m certainly glad that it did because I found this Chapter to be just a wonderful description of what happens when two people, who had been very close at one time, go their separate ways for a while, both growing in different directions and in different ways, and then meet again a few years later. Of course, that’s exactly what has happened with Boris and Natasha – he’s become a bit of a pretentious, opportunistic snob, and Natasha, while becoming a young woman, is still as full of a naïve love for life as ever. So, not surprisingly, when they meet again, Boris is the one who is the more disoriented – the person who he has become is now so out of step with the person he once was, the person who sort of comes back to life, in a way, in meeting Natasha.

    I find all of that to be a tremendously insightful description of what happens in those situations, and I suspect that most of us have at some stage or another been in either Natasha’s or Boris’s position.

    I have certainly been pretty unimpressed with the person Boris has grown into, and have felt glad that Natasha didn’t end up in him. But the way Tolstoy has written this chapter shows us, I think, that despite all that, the younger and more unaffected Boris is still somewhere there, hidden deep inside the person he has since become.

  2. I don’t think Natasha would be left pining . . . she seems to get over things quickly. There’s something about the way her parents allow her to ‘jump all over people’ when they arrive that annoys me. All this silly squealing about she does – she’s what? 16 now? Surely she should be past acting like a hyped up little kid by now.
    It may be that I’m influenced by the Russian movie scenes. I have to stop and ask myself if I’d just read of her ‘gleefulness’ in the book, and never seen the film clips, would I feel the same way?

    QUOTE

    “Well, do you recognize your little madcap playmate?” asked the countess.

    UNQUOTE

    The countess expresses her daughter, Natasha, very well in this question – a madcap playmate.

    I have no people to add to my character count today – it is still a walloping 556.

  3. Funny you should mention that about Natasha, Carly – a friend of mine said almost exactly the same thing after watching the movie. I wasn’t as annoyed by that aspect of her in the movie – but then neither did I see that side of her quite so much in the book, either. I just saw her as young and exhuberant. I remember there’s some passage somewhere else in the book where Natasha is described as doing whatever she does always to excess. And she certainly does. But I think what I like most about all of this is how we see her mature – she’s a little girl at the beginning of the book, and a woman by the end. And that was something that was almost staggering in the movie becase, of course, the actor aged while the film was being made and I remember one shot near the end when there was a flashback to her first appearance and it was just amazing to see the change. Anyway, I’m babbling – and am already late for work!!

  4. I have been ‘reading ahead’ . . . and I’ve been caught up in watching the many many film clips on U-Tube . . . in particular, the 2007 TV Series.

    Here’s some urls to those film clips – I especially love the music mixes people have done to go with the clips themselves.

    French

    War and Peace – The Ball – The 2007 TV Series – French

    War and Peace – Second Ball

    English

    War and Peace – Natash Meets Andrei

    War and Peace – You Seem to Live Life Very Intensely – English

    Andrei Dies

    You’re Beautiful

    Natasha and Andrei

    Andrey and Natasha’s Farewell

    She Certainly Wasn’t Worth Our Family

    Take Me to Natasha

    Music Mixes

    War & Peace – Piccolissima (Natasha and Pierre)

    Natasha and Andre – Sway

    Violet Hill – Coldplay

    Dolce Follio

    Sigla Iniziale

    I Love You

    If you don’t have time to check them all out, watch Natasha and Andre – Sway – it’s a song that’s been threaded into the clip of love scenes between them.

    These film clips have made me ‘swayed’ me over to Natasha – I see now how her character develops.

    Get ‘your friend’ to watch that one – it’s the kind of thing we ladies like.

    ……………………………

    In response to your comment about Natasha living her life ‘exuberantly’, here’s where it gets said – it’s Andrei who says it:

    War and Peace – You Seem to Live Life Very Intensely – English

    ……………………………

    Hope you packed a lunch, if you’re going to watch all those – ha ha!

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