Reading for Sunday, 2/11/08
Well, apologies again. No sooner was I back up to date than I fell off the wagon again. Work has suddenly got a bit busier this week and spare time has been harder to come by.
Actually, I was tempted to return in this post and say that actually, to make sure you really want to be reading War and Peace with me, we’re going to take a year’s break, and come back next November. And then, when that happens, if you’re still interested, we can start reading again . . . but that joke might have been funnier in my head than in print.
Whatever . . . here we see Prince Andrei’s dad in fine form yet again, suggesting to his son that perhaps waiting for a whole year to get engaged to Natasha would be a good idea. What surprises me about all of this is that Andrei didn’t argue more.
Is he still scared of his father? Does he figure that it will just turn out best for all involved if they keep the old man happy? (Not that that’s completely possible.) Or (my theory), does the pessimistic side of him secretly wonder whether Natasha will remain faithful to him? Either way, all of this is brewing when we have the proposal scene.
Actually, another question – in Western culture, assuming a young man was going to ask anybody’s permission to get married – wouldn’t it be the Dad that he asked? Or is a Russian thing that it’s the wife that signs off on these kinds of things first?
I’m not sure – but either way, the proposal has been made, and the long-term plans have been made.