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.

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One thought on “One-Year War and Peace 15.16 – Remembering Andrei

  1. I think you’re right, Matt – Tolstoy has already told us all that needed to be told about Natasha and her feelings for Andrei, in that remarkable scene of his death, and this chapter here is really much more about the beginnings of moving on from Andrei. This chapter, like the chapters around it, I think are written with such really beautiful tenderness – and here we see it especially in the way Pierre’s gentle goodness seems to enable Natasha to at last really talk about Andrei’s death. I feel a real sense of peace in this scene – a letting go of the past. And then there’s that almost comical incident as Natasha leaves the room and walks into the door. I’m not sure exactly what Tolstoy’s reason for including that was, but for me it just made the whole scene that little bit more human, that little bit more recognisable.

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