Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Volume II, Book III, Chapter XIII

Natasha bursts in on her mother praying "without false curls and with one poor little knot of hair sticking out from under the white cotton cap". She waits for her to finish, though squealing on the bed and fidgeting in the covers. What follows is talk about Natasha and Boris.

The countess feels Natasha is toying with him, which she is. Natasha feels she should be able to do whatever she likes. Besides, she could not marry Boris, because he's "so narrow, like a dining-room clock...You don't understand?....Narrow, you know, gray, light gray." And she goes on, saying that Pierre is "blue, dark blue with red, and he's rectangular."

At that moment the count knocks at the door and Natasha scurries away. She has a fantasy outside of her, as if someone is speaking about how wonderful she is and all she can do, and she falls asleep.

The countess talks to Boris and he stops visiting.

He's probably confused, bewitched by Natasha and old feelings, but knowing there's nothing there. The countess sure sees it. I really hope something good happens to the Rostovs - it pains me to see them in such bad straits. And then there are vipers around who manage to have it all. I suppose because they must need it very badly. The Rostovs are so generous, but that's not always the best thing if you're surrounded by people who take advantage. I'm worried for them.

And Tolstoy has created some great characters.

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