Sunday, February 21, 2010

Volume I, Book II, Chapter II

Boy, this war stuff is going to be harder to keep interested in. Though still great writing, of course.

General Kutuzov (an actual historic figure) comes to inspect the troops. The Regimental Commander is so excited he bounces, which is funny while he is being mocked by one of the people in Kutuzov's retinue. One of the men is Prince Andrei Bolkonsky. With him is Nevitsky, a "tall staff officer, extremely fat, wiht a kind, smiling handsome face and moist eyes. Nevitsky is laughing at the man making fun of the commander. The General stops at Dolokhov, after Andrei reminds him he wanted to be reminded to take note of him. Dolokhov steps out and speaks to the General, although what the General said to him did not need a response. He wants to be given a chance to wipe out his guilt. The General doesn't say anything and walks away, as it didn't need to be said.

After the General leaves there's a chorus of soldier voices, talking about the war, events, etc. The Commander calls all the singers in front, and they begin to sing. We go back to Dolokhov, having a conversation with a hussar cornet Zherkov. It's awkward, and he tells Dolokhov if he wants anything, he can ask. DOlokhov says if he wants anything he'll take it himself. And he's not drinking or gambling until he gets promoted. Well, he's certainly driven.

We also have the Regimental Commander ask the drunken captain how Dolokhov is doing and his response is that his character "Comes over him...some days...he's clever, and learned, and kind. And then he's a beast. In Poland he all but killed a Jew, if you want to know..."

Not a great guy that Dolokhov. We'll see what he has to do with Andrei. I just think of green screen with this chapter, and film. It's like characters have dropped in on real life, with real Generals, but you realize the whole thing is conjecture against real historical events. Events which I'm sure will only get more confusing. And that soldier talk, all the snippets of dialogue, very filmic. Quite a scope.

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