This chapter we have more of the Andrei/Natasha romance – but this time from the viewpoint of Pierre.

I love the way this is described.  Pierre feels both sad and happy at the same time.  He can’t quite put his finger on why, but I think it’s because of two things:

1)  First of all, Andrei finding happiness just reminds him of the unhappiness he’s going through with his own relationship.  (And his wife is still well and truly alive – not something that Andrei has to worry about, thanks to Leo’s twist.)

2)  But, secondly, Pierre has been friends with the Rostovs and Natasha for a long time.  It’s never been said that he’s been in love with her – but sometimes you don’t know what you really like until it’s out of reach . . .

Anyway, it’s just a throwaway moment before being dominated by Vera’s hilariously unsubtle interrogation of Andrei.  But . . . has she shown the seeds of jealousy by mentioning Boris?  Is she being a troublemaker on purpose?

We don’t know, because Pierre’s been interrupted by Berg calling him over to join the argument – the one that all good parties have to have . . .

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2 thoughts on “One-Year War and Peace 6.21 – The Beginning of a Triangle

  1. Yes, there really is just that little hint of sadness and lost possibilities for Pierre and his thoughts about Natasha – maybe all the more poignant when we remember that it was Pierre who, basically, set the wheels of romance in motion by getting Andrei to dance with her at the ball.

    But, that little tinge aside, it was kind of nice to have see a little more of the crazy farce of the soiree in this Chapter, and to have mixed in with it a little more of the blossoming love between Andrei and Natasha. Once again, Tolstoy crafted things brilliantly – shifting our attentions and our sympathies to the nervous bloom of new love, and then having clumsy, pretentious Vera put her foot in it with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer. I really do think it’s a shame that this scene didn’t get into Bondarchuk’s movie – but then Vera, as I remember it, doesn’t appear at all in his version. Mind you, I’m not sure how Bondarchuk would have done comedy – and, while this chapter is so wittily written, I imagine it would be very difficult to get just the right sense of irritated, humorous embarrassment in a character who is normally so intense as Andrei. I must get out the BBC miniseries again, which I never finished watching, and see if this scene appears there.

  2. I’m a bit behind you two again . . . took a few days off to participate in a discussion about ‘Orlando – Virginia Woolf’ . . . what an odd book that is.

    I’m also discussing ‘Atonement – Ian McKuen’ on another site . . . his books are always good.

    But I did notice that ‘Atonement’ has a lot in common with the goings on in War and Peace – the social life, I mean.

    Orlando . . . well, that’s just a lotta’ pomp, methinks.

    No, I haven’t seen Vera and Berg in any of the film clips – you can get the 2007 TV Series, the Russian Bondarchuk film and some of the 1956 Audrey Hepburn movie on You Tube.

    The characters I’m adding . . .

    Colonel . . .

    Pierre, as one of the principal guests, had to sit down to boston with Count Rostov, the general, and the colonel.

    Just one . . . 575

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