Reading for Wednesday, 27 May
Sorry again for the delay. It’s getting harder to find a chance to sit down and read nowadays. But that’s okay . . .
Well, here we are, continuing the conversation between Pierre, Natasha and Marya. Actually, it’s a bit funny, but I feel like I’ve found an extended ending on a DVD, with this scene.
It’s interesting how this chapter revolves around Andrei, but in some ways, doesn’t. It revolves around him because Pierre pushes Marya and Natasha to talk about him, and so Natasha is able to open up and share her thoughts and her grief.
But then at the same time, the angle that Tolstoy takes with the chapter is to show this as a catalyst for Pierre’s growing attachment to Natasha, Natasha’s healing inside and a similar (though not romantic) working through of the issues for Marya. Rather as Pierre says, Andrei always wanted to be good and achieve something – and he’s achieving something now.
Part of me would have liked Leo to write out Natasha’s remembrances of Andrei in full detail, so that we could hear all her thoughts – but he glosses over this in a paragraph. But then, maybe we can just assume that he already shared all that with us when Andrei lay dying.