Thursday, May 19, 2011

Collage 408

No matter how silly or stupid or vexing Natasha's behavior is throughout the book, I have a soft spot for her. In this passage, she is seriously ill, overcome by depression brought on by learning of Anatole's secret marriage. Her loved ones rush about, making sure the doctor's orders are fulfilled, and the doctors shook their heads and prescribed relief of all sorts contained in "not-so-harmful pills". I love how Tolstoy describes this scene, the doctors '[satisfying] that eternal human need for the hope of relief, the need for compassion
and action, which a human being experiences in a time of suffering... When a child hurts himself, he runs at once to his mother's arms... The doctors were of use to Natsha because they kissed and rubbed her "boo-boo" assuring her that it would go away at once' so long as she took her 'powders and pills in a pretty box, and if the sick girl made sure to take them with boiled water every two hours'.

I definitely feel maternal toward Natasha. -- Adrienne

Adrienne Wetmore
from page 71-72, Volume 2 of original text
collage, ink
made 2/25/11
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 656-657

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