Quote coming soon but for now just a note saying that it’s a moment of POV — though POV radically contracted, as if to the retina, and so myopic as to indicate self-reflexivity — Pierre seeing himself seeing — and yet a kind of self-reflexivity that, by estranging the act of seeing, also makes the POV weirdly impersonal — this POV moment is of interest especially vis a vis the conversation with Snediker — ie about the “half unconscious” or pasteboard mode of figuration Pierre appears in at the beginning of the novel
But man does never give himself up thus, a doorless and shutterless house for the four loosened winds of heaven to howl through, without still additional dilapidations. Much oftener than before, Pierre laid back in his chair with the deadly feeling of faintness. Much oftener than before, came staggering home from his evening walk, and from sheer bodily exhaustion economized the breath that answered the anxious inquiries as to what might be done for him. And as if all the leagued spiritual inveteracies and malices, combined with his general bodily exhaustion, were not enough, a special corporeal affliction now descended like a skyhawk upon him. His incessant application told upon his eyes. They became so affected, that some days he wrote with the lids nearly closed, fearful of opening them wide to the light. Through the lashes he peered upon the paper, which so seemed fretted with wires. Sometimes he blindly wrote with his eyes turned away from the paper;—thus unconsciously symbolizing the hostile necessity and distaste, the former whereof made of him this most unwilling statesprisoner of letters.