Thursday, February 11, 2010

Volume I, Book I, Chapter XVII

I think I'm going to shorten these titles now. V1, B1, XVII, etc. Are we all in agreement? Ah, I'll see how I feel tomorrow.

So this is the after party. Natasha comforts Sonya, who is despondent over love for Nikolai and that Vera has threatened to tell the Countess about it. Turns out since they're first cousins they need special permission to marry from the Bishop. Natasha cries in sympathy, then comfort her, and Sonya turns back into a kitten.

Back at the dance, Natasha asks "fat Pierre" to dance as she's told to, and acts very grown-up with a fan and "worldly pose". The Countess notices how adult she's acting - scandale!

The rest of the chapter is given to the Count dancing a very fast dance with Marya, the Daniel Cooper, which is a fast part of the "anglaise". Lots of dances in the 18th century. They could dance up a storm. The Count does, going faster and faster, the dance being like a trebak, which I just learned is the fast dance with the knee bends. Natasha is so amused she laughs out loud and lets no one concentrate on anything but her father, and a good time is had by all.

I kept thinking this was one of those chapters where you become fond of people, and everyone's having such a good time, and then later you'll come back to the house and it will be destroyed or everyone will have died. I could be wrong, but it just felt like the buttering up before some great tragedy. I mean, the book is called "War and Peace", not "Land of 1,000 Dances".

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