When two people love one another and have been together for a long time, they sometimes seem able to read each other's minds. Leo Tolstoy describes a reunion of such a fortunate couple in the denoument of War and Peace (Book IV, Part One, Chapter 16):

As soon as Natasha and Pierre were alone they too began to talk as only a husband and wife can talk, that is, apprehending one another's thoughts and exchanging ideas with extraordinary swiftness and perspicuity, contrary to all the rules of logic, without the aid of premises, deductions, or conclusions, and in a quite singular way. Natasha was so used to this kind of talk with her husband that for her it was a sure sign of something wrong between them if Pierre followed a logical train of thought. When he began proving something, cooly reasoning, and she, led on by his example, began to do the same, she knew they were on the verge of a quarrel.

From the moment they were alone together and Natasha, wide-eyed with happiness, stole up to him, suddenly seizing his head and pressing it to her breast and saying: "Now you are mine, all mine! You shan't escape!" --- from that moment there sprang up a conversation that was contrary to all the laws of logic, contrary because entirely different subjects were talked of at the same time. This simultaneous discussion of many topics, far from hindering a clear understanding, was the surest indication that they fully understood each other.

Just as in a dream when everything is unreal, meaningless, and contradictory except the feeling that governs the dream, so in this communion of thoughts, contrary to all laws of reason, the words themselves were not clear and consecutive, but only the feeling that prompted them. ...

Happy Valentine's Day!

(from the translation by Ann Dunnigan; see also TruthInBattle (11 Feb 2001), OozeOnVerst (22 Sep 2004), IrresistibleAttraction (4 Oct 2004), InfiniteSky (15 Oct 2004), UntutoredVoice (3 Nov 2004), StrippedThreads (15 Nov 2004), PatienceAndTime (11 Jan 2005), GuerrillaWarfare (26 Jan 2005), ...)

TopicLiterature - TopicLanguage - 2005-02-14

(correlates: GuerrillaWarfare, StrippedThreads, NothingHappens, ...)