This chapter is another very short one, so there’s not a lot to say.  Again, because the action is completely from inside Andrei’s head, it develops an ambiguity that feels very human.

When Andrei feels like crying hearing Natasha singing, he feels it’s because of realising the gap between something “illimitable” and humanity’s own limited self.

It could also be that the music moved him.

Not to mention that he’s madly in love with Natasha as well.

All of these things play around in his head, all happening at once.  But the interesting thing is that the book’s most pessimistic character is having a turn around.  We’re seeing a new Andrei emerge . . .

Which is what’s so amazing about this book.  The only thing comparable with a story running this long is a TV series, and in TV series, characters usually stay the same, rather than really change.  But here’s Andrei, completely reinventing himself.  Fascinating stuff.

And that’s probably it from me . . . until tomorrow.

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2 thoughts on “One-Year War and Peace 6.19 – Beautiful Singing

  1. I think, Matt, that the approach you’ve got going here, reading and thinking about a chpter a day, means that even with short chapters like this we find things that we might not have given much thought to otherwise.

    Obviously, this Chapter provides a lovely description of what falling in love can mean, and what it can do. It’s interesting how Natasha had the impact yesterday of making everything seem boring and shallow for Andrei when he was at the Speranski dinner party, but quite the opposite effect today, when he is with the Rostovs. Maybe it’s because now he is in her presence, but, because I’ve had more of a chance to think about it, because it’s th only bit I’ve read today, I can see how it really has a lot more to do with the profound change that has happened within Andrei, where the simple values of love and kindness and goodness – all things which he was so scornful of before – have now come to mean something; and the values of ambition, and the achievements of the nobility and of the military, which have been so central in making Andrei the person he is, have now come to mean so little.

    It’s this process of seeing the detail of every chapter that has led me to wonder how Tolstoy actually wrote War nd Peace. It seems pretty clear that he could not possibly have raced through the chapters which we, when we’re reading the whole thing in a bit more of a hurry, are likely to race through. It makes you wonder how many other great works of literature we gloss over, simply because we don’t take the time to read them at the right pace.

  2. Andrei realizes that his life isn’t over – it’s possible for him to feel. And he is falling in love . . .

    Here are the additions to my character count:

    NOT ONE!

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