Reading for Sunday 16/11/08
Sorry, still a day behind. Anyway, I didn’t get a chance to do this yesterday, but I couldn’t resist. I know Carly caught it for her character count, but you might have noticed that the Countess Rostova asked the music teacher to play a nocturne (which is quite simply a quiet piece of a romantic nature, and – as the name suggests – quite suitable for playing at night time, because of their gentle and quiet nature). Incidentally, the man who invented the nocturne was an Irish composer named John Field (the one referred to in the novel) and I’m told that he lived in St Petersburg for a long while, so he would have been known to the Russian aristocracy in the early 1800s, so he would have just been rising to prominence at the time.
Anyway, to send your ears back in time temporarily, here’s a nocture by John Field for you to enjoy:
And, meanwhile, back to 7.11 – I’m gathering, from what I’ve read, that this house that they’re at (the home of the Melyukovs) is a bunch of neighbours nearby that are a bit poorer. It does sound a bit like a midnight charity visit to cheer up the poor family, anyway.
Nevertheless, it’s all a lot of fun, and for some unknown reason, the girls are more becoming attractive by wearing moustaches . . . in this day and age when women are encouraged to lose as much body hair as possible, Tolstoy bucks the trend by making his women more attractive with facial hair . . . there you go.
Anyway, it ends with possibly the romantic high point of this Book 7 (if not one of the romantic highlights of all War and Peace) – so syrupy, it could come straight out of a romance movie – Sonya heads out the back of the house, Nikolai heads out the front, and they meet up for a secret kiss out the back . . . ahh . . . young love.