Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Volume I, Book I, Chapter XXII

Okay, it's been a long day, and this was a long chapter, over 3/4 in French. Thank god for notes. SO I have a feeling I may augment this tomorrow. Hey--I said I'd read a chapter a day, and I've done that already, so no guilt.

We're are Red Hills, the estate of Andrei's father, Nikolai Bolkonsky. We learn that he's quite a slave driver to his daughter and his estate, with times for everything. His daughter, Princess Marya, must study a lot, and he tries to make her learn. She comes off as a bit of a simp. Very Christian, and terrified of her father, she doesn't understand what he wants her to learn.

The majority of the chapter is taken up with the letter to Marya from Julie Kulagin (the one who was chatting with Nikolai much to the consternation of Sonya at the Rostov's). Julie believes she is too old for Nikolai, but is obviously taken with him. The letter to Marya begins with nearly passionate protestations of love for Marya, and then is taken up with Nikolai. And she imparts that Pierre is now a Count, and he has the Bezukhov fortune. Julie likes Pierre, but realizes he has a difficult time ahead. She also mentions Vassily wanting to marry her off to Anatole (the bad boy). Remember that? She calls Anna Mikhailovna "aunt in general". Hee.

Marya writes back about how hard it is for a rich man to pass through the eye of a needle, and feeling bad for Pierre, and how she would be married to whomever for her duty. She also says she won't read the book of mysticism that Julie sent her, since she can't figure out why everyone can't just read the bible and nothing else, and figure out the word of god. She doesn't like reading or studying anything else. She's really Simpy McZealot at this point; she's already on my nerves. She blushes a lot. She even has a companion who seems much lighter than she.

The last paragraph is great, and tells you all you need to know: "The princess glances at her watch adn noticing that she was already five miniutes later for playing the clavichord, went with a frightened face to the sitting room. According to the established order of the day, between noon and two o'clock the prince rested and the the princess played the clavichord."

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