Sunday, March 18, 2012

Collage 712

We are in the Epilogue, Part One, Chapter X.

Pierre and Natasha are the perfect picture of domesticity. Hard to believe, but fiery Natasha shifts into an obedient wife.

"The manner and place of their life, their acquaintances , their connections, Natasha's occupations, the raising of the children -- not only was everything done according to the express will of Pierre, but Natasha tried to guess what might follow from Pierre's thoughts voiced in conversation."

What really interests me is the bit about breast-feeding. Pierre had told Natasha about Rousseau's thoughts on using a wet nurse -- that he found the practice to be "unnatural and harmful" The narrator comments that Natasha had a hard time with their first child -- she became sick despair (sounds like postpartum depression to me) and changed wet nurses three times. So with the subsequent children she went totally against convention and breast fed them herself.

This book if filled with these tiny little details of daily life. Which makes it so readable and engaging. -- Lola

Lola Baltzell
from page 679-680, volume 2 of original text
collage, acrylic paint, flora from Yasnaya Polyana
made 12/2/11
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 1156-1158

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