Reading for Sunday 31 May

And now we switch over to Natasha, who is also feeling the same thing. I found this chapter like a delicate piece of music, where two melodies are combining at once (that’s called counterpoint if you want a new word to show off at parties).

There’s a happy melody that is Natasha’s joy at falling in love with Pierre, but there is also a slightly melancholy one with Marya being a bit sad that Andrei is so soon forgotten. But both strands are part of the same music, so by the end of the chapter it all feels right.

Well, that was my impression of the chapter anyway. You may have felt something different entirely.

Also, that brings us to the end of Book 15! From here on in, we have the two parts of the Epilogues to go . . . it’ll soon all be over.

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2 thoughts on “One-Year War and Peace 15.20 – Natasha’s Happiness

  1. I think that’s a tremendous way of describing this chapter, Matt – the counterpoint of Natasha’s happiness and Marya’s melancholy. And I think the vital point is your comment that the two belong together, as part of the same piece of music, and that’s what makes it feel right. The bringing together of things that are often thought to be poles apart – in this case, sadness and happiness – has, in a way, been very much a thread throughout the whole of this book … brutality and compassion, life and death, profundity and triviality and, of course, war and peace!

  2. Well, my not following classical music as you do, I cannot mention any particular pieces, as you are able to – but I do identify with something having two melodies when I think of the tune ‘Picnic’ combined with ‘Moonglow’.

    I fell in love with that music early – when I was thirteen I went to see ‘Picnic’ in New York. At the time, the song ‘Picnic’ was popular, then someone combined it with ‘Moonglow’ . . . I still love it to this day – it’s one of the world’s loveliest pieces of music in my opinion.

    And thanks for that word – counterpoint – I often find myself trying to describe Picnic/Moonglow to someone – I’ll try to remember to use the word ‘counterpoint’ next time.

    That’s clever, the way you thought of the chapter’s construction as being that.

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