Sunday, June 30, 2013

War and Peace Check-In: June

Good news! Entertainment Weekly called War & Peace the 30th best book ever written (Anna Karenina was #1, buttt The Great Gatsby was #2) so yay for all you reading it, it's worth it! (though Entertainment Weekly is no expert, I liked a lot of books on the list!)

The section this month was super short (which is good since I basically just read it) and may as well have been called The Disgrace of Natasha. I really don't have much to say...once again there was lots of OMG VILE WOMENNNNN and such, though I think Tolstoy tried to infuse a little more sympathy for Natasha by explaining that her facial expressions didn't necessarily reflect her inner life. But..I found the section to be full of people being human so here are a few bits I liked.

*I loved how Princess Marya preferred writing to Julie to actually spending time with her, lol. This was pre-blogging days but if Marya lived now you better bet she'd have been a blogger! It just made loads of sense that writing Julie gave her an expression/outlet she didn't have in any other area of her life and so the relationship was less about the actual friendship between them and more about Marya being able to express herself. This is pretty backed up by the letter earlier in the book where she was super preachy to her friend, lol, more interested in imparting her ideals than conversing with Julie.

*Boris viewing all the time spent courting Julie as going to waste really...illuminates how relationships were. It was all about securing her property/money and supposedly all women wanted in exchange was to be told they were the only one. But...I don't know. This seems like a blind spot for Boris, imo, why would a woman care about untrue declarations of affection. I thought it was amusing/sad that Boris enjoyed Julie while she was melancholy but resisted giving in to what she wanted/the proposal. Sigh. So many power games.

*Pierre becoming everything he didn't want to be and somehow trying to convince himself he wasn't those things rang so true.

*Of course Natasha. The way everything is told as a disgrace is kind of sad because really. She's a young girl whose fiance took off for a year! And there's no indication she'd ever had any physical attraction to him, so she was experiencing that for a first time with Anatole? Who is clearly a jerk. But I don't know I had no problem being sympathetic to her. And Andrei's seeming happiness over the dissolution of their engagement just makes me annoyed with him.

What did you guys think? Are you pleased with the progression of the relationships? Any thoughts on Natasha? I think the next section we're back to war so BRACE YOURSELVES!


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