Saturday, June 19, 2010

Volume II, Book III, Chapter XIX

I drove to Phoenix last night, and didn't get in until very late, so I read two chapters today. It looks like I'm about 20 chapters behind to make it one full year, so I'll hopefully catch up with sinus surgery I'm having next weekend. Or at least a few. So,

After his epiphany that all this political stuff in Petersburg was a waste of his time, Andrei goes to visit the Rostov's. Of course, he is once again struck by Natasha, as well as the warmth of the whole family. He asks Natasha to sing, and in the middle of the song he looks over at Natasha and wants to weep even though he has no reason. "The main thing he wanted to weep about was a sudden, vivid awareness of the terrible opposition between something infinitely great and indefinable that was in him, and something narrow and fleshy that he himself, and even she, was. This opposition tormented him and gladdened him while she sang."

He cannot go to sleep. He decides to devote himself to traveling, to finding good schooling for his son, and to living. "Pierre was right when he said that one must believe in the possibility of happiness in order to be happy, and now I believe in it."

For Andrei, it will probably go well, though I don't know about Pierre. That moment is beautiful when he starts to weep while Natasha sings. Beautiful, and about the best description I've read of someone realizing their own humanity while relishing it. The window opened for him again. It seems that's what Natasha does for Andrei.

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