And here we go . . . we finish the ball with Natasha on an absolute high.  (We’ll find out about Andrei’s state of mind tomorrow.)  I don’t know if anyone caught the throwaway remark about how she passed all her superflous dancing partners on to Sonya, but I did find that rather amusing.

There’s not a lot to say here, except that Tolstoy paints a picture of this happiness that transcends everything in the room, and then brings us back to earth with a reminder that poor old Pierre is still struggling with his doubts and dilemmas.  (And we hopefully all remember the dreams and problems he’s wrestling with at the moment.)

But isn’t that the way at social gatherings?  Actually, just about spending time on this planet really.  At any given point in time, one person can be having the high point of their life, and for another, they can be in the depths of despair.  The only thing shared is this planet and the march of time.

See you tomorrow.

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2 thoughts on “One-Year War and Peace 6.17 – Happiness

  1. Happiness certainly is the word for this Chapter and I think, for me, this is possibly the sort of writing that Tolstoy seems to do the best of all – describing people’s innermost feelings, feelings that we have all experienced at some time or another but never imagined could be put into words with such simple, yet powerful, eloquence as Tolstoy manages to do here.

    His descriptions of Natasha’s happiness seem to resonate so well – right down to her inability, at that moment, to understand or believe that there could be anything other than happiness and goodness everywhere. That’s why her encounter with the sullen, morose Pierre comes as such a jolt – like an interruption into a wonderful, wonderful dream.

    And the little line where Andrei says to himself that Natasha will be his wife if she goes first to her cousin and then to another lady was such a magical little touch, too – and a great relief, for me, to discover that I’m not the only person in the world who thinks such crazy thoughts!!

  2. He certainly knows how to tell about life as it is . . . that’s exactly the kind of thing that happens at a dance – certain people get attention, certain people do not. And in every story there’s always that one woman who seems to be ‘everything’ that everybody else is not . . . Natasha is starting to sound like a character out of Harlequin Romances. Had I not been ‘working ahead’, I’d be frustrated with Tolstoy.

    Yes, that’s cute – Andrei says she’ll be his wife if she does this, does that – like crossing your fingers on the sight of a Royal Mail truck (we used to do that as kids).

    And that’s not like our Andrei . . .

    Do I have characters to add – any new ones?

    French Ambassador –

    Not only did she fail to notice that the Emperor talked a long time with the French ambassador, and how particularly gracious he was to a certain lady, or that Prince So-and-so and So-and-so did and said this and that, and that Helene had great success and was honored was by the special attention of So-and-so, but she did not even see the Emperor, and only noticed that he had gone because the ball became livelier after his departure.

    That’s about all I can see for now – this brings my count to 566.

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