Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Volume II, Book IV, Chapter III

This one's all about hunting. Beautiful prose - he saw a morning than which nothing could be better for hunting: it was as if they sky was melting and, without wind, descending to earth."

Nikolai plays with the dogs, who come up to him on the porch, and discusses the wolvees with Danilo, the head kennelman and huntsman. He's a little intimidated, but knew that "Danilo, who scorned everything and was above everything, was still his serf and his hunter." Nice. People and dogs are similar. In fact, Danilo is portrayed as like a horse or a bear in the living room, so out of place is he.

Natasha demands to go, and Nikolai, like a petulant child, says something like "mama said you're not allowed." You can almost hear him stamping his foot. It's a beautiful fall day, which in Russia, and for the gentry, means hunting. It's irresistible in this chapter - "like a lovesick man in the presence of his beloved" it's described. Well, we'll have to see what the primal looks like in the next chapter, hunting a wolf and her cubs.

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