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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

Love

War and Peace

Leo Tolstoy

1867

Link

2018-05-18

'“But I can’t believe it,” insisted Sónya. “I don’t understand. How is it you have loved a man for a whole year and suddenly... Why, you have only seen him three times! Natásha, I don’t believe you, you’re joking! In three days to forget everything and so...”

“Three days?” said Natásha. “It seems to me I’ve loved him a hundred years. It seems to me that I have never loved anyone before. You can’t understand it...."' - War and Peace

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It occurs to me the half-life of love must be something like a few months. If no habit of connection is established, all disintegrates. Seems silly to make much of someone's identity dependent on something that can be so transient, but I suppose I grant it's the context for reproduction and children can last beyond a few months.

The father of Natásha's original love didn't approve -- classic rich father problem if literature is to be believed: she was poor and that's no good. So not to be too stern, he said, go abroad, spend a year without her before marring and we'll see.