Reading for Friday 29 May

After far too long away – I return . . .

This chapter of Pierre preparing to go away was quite enjoyable, if only because most of us can relate to that degree of infatuation at some time in our life. Every little thing someone says reminds him of who he likes. Every phrase she offers is something for him to ponder and analyse to the nth degree (without ever getting sick of it).

So Tolstoy sucks us into this emotion, so that when Pierre has the conversation with Marya, we feel his elation that he is likely to be able to win Natasha’s hand. And, of course, when she says that sentence (translated in my version as), “I shall so look forward to seeing you again,” we’re over the moon.


One thought on “One-Year War and Peace 15.18 – Leaving for Petersburg

  1. Good to have you back Matt! And this certainly is, as you say, a very enjoyable chapter. I just loved the way it captures new love – and it just seemed all the more magical here because this almost adolescent infatuation is sparked here in the most unlikely of characters – the bumbling, fat, and by-no-means adolescent Pierre. I, for one found something incredibly heart-warming in that. Jane Austen (not that I’ve actually read any) would, I presume have lit this flame of new love only in the hearts of the young and beautiful – but Tolstoy shows us here that love, and all the craziness that goes with it, is much more universal than that. And there was just something so familiar (embarrassingly familiar, I have to confess) in the way Pierre obsesses over her simple one line of encouragement – which, in Pevear Volokhonsky, by the way, is “I’ll be waiting very much for you”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s