Thursday, May 27, 2010

Still plugging away

Still plugging away a chapter a day on War & Peace. The other day, there was just a beautiful moment that made me catch my breath. And the chapter after, too. Really, really gorgeous. I don't think I do it justice, but read the book.

"As soon as he opened the shutters, moonlight, as if it had been watching at the window for a long time waiting for that, burst into the room. He opened the window. The night was fresh and stilly bright. Just under his window was a row of rimmed trees, black on one side and silvery bright on the other. Under the trees was some juicy, wet, curly growth with touches of silver on its leaves and stems. Further beyond the black trees was some rood glistening with dew, to the right a big, curly tree with a bright white trunk and branches, and above it a nearly full moon against the light, nearly starless spring sky."

How beautiful is that? Spring is moist and bursting, juicy, silver, eager. And right at the moment he leans out the window, he hears voices above him, talking. It's two girls, Natasha and Sonya. Natasha can't sleep. She wants to play a game again. And Sonya is obviously tired.

"You sleep, I can't" Natasha says, and must be close, as he can hear her dress rustle and her breathing above him. He's afraid to move. Then she tells Sonya how she may spring up and fly. Sonya annoys her by telling her it's after one o'clock. She sits for a while in the window, still, with an occasional sigh, and finally says suddenly "Ah, my God, my God! what on earth is it! If it's sleep, it's sleep!" and slams the window.

What can Andrei think? He's confused, and unable to even comprehend what he is feeling - that she doesn't care about him, or even know who he is, and he is filled with "unexpected tangle of youthful thoughts and hopes, contradictory to his whole life."

Read the whole post here.


Elizabeth said...

The passages you've picked are seductive -- how many tedious ones have there been per good?

I'm just teasing -- one of these days, I, too, will read that book.

Criticlasm said...

Lol. Actually it's mostly good. Even in the most dry ones there's some great description or character that keeps me interested. It is quite an undertaking, though...