In the category of “What stupid thing will V say today?” this one ranks quite high. I think it actually eclipsed the series of highly stupid other things that I said at some point today. Eclipsing myself is really something I do quite well, which is why I like to spend time alone on my balcony “meditating”, causing no grave danger to my surroundings.
I’ve been reading Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” lately. To which everyone always says “Why?”, which, surprisingly is the same reaction our Israeli travel agent moving to Lagos, Nigeria got from our Ghanaian friend: a loud, resounding, surprised, “Why?”
Anyway. Tolstoy gets the same stupid remarks Australia gets, except that instead of “But it’s so faaaar away!” in a whining voice it’s “But it’s so loooong!” And granted, War and Peace is long, I’ve been reading it for two weeks and I’m still only a fifth of the way through the book, but it’s amazing, he manages to pin down characters and personalities in a few well aimed sentences and sharpened words and for a writer, it’s the biggest rush. Even the battle scenes, tedious though they may be, are amazingly vivid and well written, even in translation, which is a huge feat.
So I’ve loved every minute of this book so far, all the hours I’ve spent on it, which is a good thing. But the other day, I read a sentence that made me slam the book shut and punish it for a few days. I actually lobbied against my own book.
“As always with lonely women who have lived for any length of time without masculine society, when Anatol appeared, all three women of Prince Nikolai Andreyevich’s household felt that they had not been really living before. Their powers of thought, feeling, and observation instantly increased tenfold, and it was as if their lives, which till then had been passed in darkness, were suddenly lit up by a new light that was charged with meaning.”