Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Varykino



Varykino proved to be an all too short retreat for the Zhivagos.  They seemed to settle into a relatively comfortable domesticity at the old Krueger estate that once belonged to the Gromeko family.  Now it was state property, guarded by Mikulitsin and his second wife.  Yury seemed to envy the cozy house Mikulitsin lived in for its study, as he imagined himself returning to his writing after all the travails he had been through.   He and his family made due with one of the other outbuildings on the estate as Mikulitsin wouldn't allow them to live in the main house, much to Alexander Alexandrovich's chagrin.

The time seemed idyllic.  The setting seemed more or less modeled upon Pasternak's home at Peredelkino, not the fabulous "Ice Palace," David Lean created in his version of the movie.  Yury grew closer to Tonya and Sasha.  Tonya became pregnant with another child.  He seemed to enjoy working the land, taking on the role almost that of a gentleman farmer.  His reputation as a doctor proceeded him and he finds patients coming to him almost on a daily basis, bartering food and services for his help.   Pasternak provides some interesting character sketches of Mikulitsin, his wife and four sisters who once lived on the estate, one of whom had been Mikulitsin's first wife.  Samdevyatov keeps them connected with the outside world, dropping in from time to time.

Still you get the sense that Yury is restless.  He eventually starts going into town to continue his reading at the library.  As fate would have it, he comes across Lara one day at the library and soon their passions boil over into an affair.  Lara's daughter seems to accept the wayward doctor.  Yury learns that Antipov is Strelnikov and he tells Lara of their encounter.  She still harbors great love for him, but knows that they will never see each other again.  Guilt eventually overwhelms Yury and while riding back to the estate he vows to tell Tonya, who to this point is oblivious of Yury's affair.  But, again fate intercedes and Yury finds himself captured by the Forest Brothers and conscripted into their Red Army as a doctor.

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