Monday, January 31, 2011

Collage 300

We are now in Volume II, Part Three, Chapter XXV.

One of the most difficult relationships in this whole book is the one between "old" Prince Nikolai Andreevich Bolkonsky and his daughter Princess Marya. It pains me every time.

"The health and character of Prince Nikolai Andreevich Bolkonsky, during that last year after his son's departure, declined considerably. He became still more irritable than before, and all the outbursts of his groundless wrath fell mainly upon Princess Marya. He seemed to carefully seek out all her sorest spots so as to torment her morally as cruelly as possible... He insulted Princess Marya constantly and painfully, but his daughter did not even have to force herself to forgive him."

This page also contains a letter to her friend Julie Karagin, an ugly wealthy heiress who appears to be Marya's only friend.

I wish that psychopharmacology had been available back then -- the "old" prince sure could have used a little something. He is a sadistic father and a tyrant with Prince Andrei as well. -- Lola

Lola Baltzell
from page 607-608 of original text
made 12/10/10
page 482-483 of Pevear/Volokhonsky translation

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