We Have a Thaw
Brian E. Denton
53

I’m not sure about this interpretation, neither am I convinced that keeping a journal and criticising yourself about things that you’ve done during the day is going to be enough to stop doing them, although it probably helps.

Tolstoy just notes “в том веселом духе добродушной насмешки, за который он так часто в дневнике упрекал себя” (he spoke) in the same spirit of good-natured leg-pulling that he had often reproached himself for in his diary [my translation].

Pierre doesn’t stop at that point, so I presumed it was Tolstoy noting this slip on his behalf (or possibly Pierre’s mind at a later date, which seems to be nearly the same thing as Tolstoy himself). None of the company seem to realise how badly Marya is suffering from the old prince’s cruelty…and that’s what makes the tone of this conversation so inappropriate.

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