11.13.2010

Perfect description of Proustian sentences...

and the impatience they cause, by Clive Bell, over here at a Proust Reader.

11.04.2010

Pages for November

11/4:  Consistent charm of Mme Swann’s heterogeneous drawing-room (153). Princess Mathilde (157). Gilberte’s unexpected behavior (161).  Lunch at the Swanns’ with Bergotte (164).

11/12:  The gentle white-haired bard and the man with the snail-shell nose and black goatee (165). A writer’s voice and his style (168). Bergotte and his imitators (169). Unforeseeable beauty of the sentences of a great writer (170). Reflecting power of genius (174).

11.01.2010

November Notes 11/4

"I felt the surprise that one feels on opening the correspondence of that Duchess d'Orléans who was by birth a Princess Palatine... [Elizabeth-Charlotte, p157]
[p158]:
"... her Württemberger mother..."
"... so typically Second Empire..." [1852-1870]
"... had she known Musset..." [Alfred de Musset, French writer, 1810-1857]

[p159]    The Czar and Czarina went to Les Invalides in October 1896, covered by the New York Times

[p160-61]
~~ Compèigne...
~~ Alpilles....  emeralds of the Grand Canal...
[...leave cards upon these Royalties...p1xx;]  More information about calling cards. This describes what men do, but using women's cards was probably similar.

... anniversary of her grandfather's death...
[Jewish custom] .... The final period of formal mourning is avelut, which is observed only for a parent. This period lasts for twelve months after the burial. During that time, mourners avoid parties, celebrations, theater and concerts. For eleven months of that period, starting at the time of burial, the son of the deceased recites the mourner's Kaddish every day.    After the avelut period is complete, the family is not permitted to continue formal mourning; however, there are some continuing acknowledgments of the decedent. Every year, on the anniversary of the death, family members observe the deceased's Yahrzeit (Yiddish, lit. "anniversary"), when sons recite Kaddish, and all mourners light a candle that burns for 24 hours.
“What difference can it make to me what people think? I think it’s perfectly absurd to worry about other people in matters of sentiment. We feel things for ourselves, not for the public. Mademoiselle has very few pleasures; she’s been looking forward to going to this concert. I am not going to deprive her of it just to satisfy public opinion.”   (Gilberte begins to sound like her mother here; p)

Proustiennes at play

10.28.2010

More October Notes

 Swann drew me aside for a moment while his wife talked of the weather and of the animals recently added to the Jardin d’Acclimatation, with the Princess. "That is the Princesse Mathilde," he told me; "you know who I mean, the friend of Flaubert, Sainte-Beuve, Dumas. Just fancy, she’s the niece of Napoleon I. She had offers of marriage from Napoleon III and the Emperor of Russia. [p. 157]
 Mathilde Laetitia Wilhelmine Bonaparte, Princesse Française (May 27, 1820 - January 2, 1904), was a French princess and Salon holder. She was a daughter of Napoleon's brother Jérôme Bonaparte and his second wife, Catharina of Württemberg.

~~ Hippolyte Taine (historian & critic)

P.P.C. (pour prendre congé): For leave-taking; sometimes written on the address cards of persons about to leave a locality when they pay their farewell visits. In English, paid parting call.  [E. Cobham Brewer,1810–97. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1898]


>> Cin`ga`lese´ ::  n. sing.; 1. A native or natives of Ceylon descended from its primitive inhabitants



 ...marvellous garment of crêpe-de-Chine or silk, old rose, cherry-coloured, Tiepolo pink, white, mauve, green, red or yellow, plain or patterned, in which Mme. Swann had sat down to luncheon and which she was now going to take off. 

Tiepolo Pink::
dressing gown/housecoat


... without crossing the path of that inextinguishable ray cast backwards to infinity, even into my own most distant past, by the lobster à l’Américaine which I had just been eating?
..."Charles ! Don't you see Mme de Montmorency?" (p. 156)

10.12.2010

October Notes

Louis-Philippe, Count of Paris (1838-94) [II, 127]
Faubourg Saint-Germain: fashionable Parisian district, where most of Swann's old friends were. [II, 124-25]


  • Dreyfus Affair (1894-1906): more to come [pp 122-23]
  • THE ALMANACH de GOTHA: Europe's Nobility Reference Book 
  • Madame de Marsantes (Countess) was the sister of Charlus and Basin (Duc de Guermantes); mother of Robert de Saint-Loup, niece of Mme de Villeparisis. She was the one person who disobeyed Lady Israels by being "at home" to Odette, until the day they arrived together. [p 124]
  • Swann's friend, Robert Philippe d’Orléans (1840–1910), was the Duc de Chartres and claimant to the throne. He was the Prince, but this confused Odette, who thought he was only a duke. [p. 125] 

Aisne: Department in northern France.  Odette thought the Guermantes family were from here. They were not. Another gaffe.  [p 125] 




10.10.2010

Pages for October

10/7:  The evolution of society (117). Swann’s “amusing sociological experiments” (128). Swann’s old jealousy (131) and new love (133).

10/14:  Outings with the Swanns (134). Lunch with them (135). Odette plays Vinteuil’s sonata to me (140). A work of genius creates its own posterity (143). 

10/21:  What the little phrase now means to Swann (145). “Me negger; you old cow!” (149-53).

10/30:   Consistent charm of Mme Swann’s heterogeneous drawing-room (153). Princess Mathilde (157). 

9.02.2010

Notes from the week

Joseph- Ernest Renan (born Feb. 28, 1823, Tréguier, France — died Oct. 2, 1892, Paris) French philosopher, historian, and scholar of religion. He trained for the priesthood but left the Catholic church in 1845, feeling that its teachings were incompatible with the findings of historical criticism, though he retained a quasi-Christian faith in God. His five-volume History of the Origins of Christianity (1863 – 80) includes his Life of Jesus  (1863); an attempt to reconstruct the mind of Jesus as a wholly human person, it was virulently denounced by the church but widely read by the general public. His later works include the series History of the People of Israel (1888 – 96).

Emmanuel Kant
Thus, for Kant, space and time are "transcendentally ideal" and "empirically real" as subjective conditions and objective, constitutive principles of intuition. In brief, this is Kant's resolution of the scientific debate between the adherents of Newton's concept of absolute space and time and Leibniz's relational view. Kant is saying that space and time are absolute conditions for human experience even though there may be nonspatial and nontemporal entities that are unknown.

This argument provides an answer to how synthetic a priori judgments in mathematics are possible. These judgments are universal and necessary, and yet they apply to and yield new knowledge about experience. The principle of Kant's explanation may be expressed as follows: whatever is true of a condition is a priori true of the conditioned. Space and time are the conditions for all possible perceptions. And Euclidean geometry and arithmetic are true of space and time. Therefore, arithmetic and geometry are a priori valid for all possible appearances.
is thought to have looked like this => 
Destroyed by Alexander the Great, only ruins remain.

Mme. Bontemps (Albertine’s aunt): at Odette's "at home" :: Wife of the Chief Secretary to the Minister of Public Works

Paul Helleu studied in Gerome's studio and later became Proust's friend.
  • We will make you ‘toast’ every bit as good as you get at Colombin’s.
  • "You're speaking of the Swann of Colombin's?" [Swann had an affair with a woman who served tea there.]
  • Un autre décor du roman, mais qui n’existe plus aujourd’hui : le salon de thé Colombin, à l’angle de la rue Cambon et de la rue du Mont-Thabor.{http://www.terresdecrivains.com/Balades-avec-Proust-a-Paris-3}

BLATIN, Mme. (friend of Odette). Reads Journal des Débats: I 565-56. Her affectation: 576-77. Marcel’s mother’s poor opinion: 587-88. Mme Swann dreads her visits: II 110. Resembles a portrait of Savonarola: 147.

Pages for September

9/3:  A letter from Gilberte (98). Love’s miracles, happy and unhappy (99). Change of attitude towards me of Gilberte’s par­ents, unwittingly brought about by Bloch and Cottard (102). The Swann apartment; the concierge; the windows (103; cf. I 500). Gilberte’s writing-paper (104). The Henri II staircase (106). The chocolate cake (107).

9/10:  Mme Swann’s praise of Françoise: “your old nurse” (110). The heart of the Sanctuary: Swann’s library (111); his wife’s bedroom (113). Odette’s “at home” (114). The “famous Albertine,” niece of Mme Bontemps (116).

8.23.2010

Movie Week

Swann in Love (preview & imdb)

8.12.2010

hypogean   ::  adjective  ::   Located or operating beneath the earth's surface: hypogeal, hypogeous, subterranean, subterrestrial, underground.

8.04.2010

Pages for August

WITHIN A BUDDING GROVE :: 
Week 40:  How I came to say of Berma: “What a great artist!” (72). The laws of Time (74). Effect produced by Norpois on my par­ents (75), on Françoise (76); the latter’s views on Parisian restaurants (78).
New Year’s Day visits (79). I propose to Gilberte that we should rebuild our friendship on a new basis (80); but that same evening I realize that New Year’s Day is not the first day of a new world (81). Berma and love (83). Gabriel’s palaces (84). I can no longer recall Gilberte’s face (84). She returns to the Champs-Elysées (85). “They can’t stand you!” (86) I write to Swann (86). Reawakening, thanks to involuntary memory, in the little pavilion in the Champs-Elysées, of the impressions experienced in Uncle Adolphe’s sanctum at Combray (89, 91; cf. I 99). Amorous wrestle with Gilberte (89). I fall ill (91). Cottard’s diagnoses (96).


Man Ray's photo of the late Marcel Proust, at the Getty Museum.

7.18.2010

Pages for July

WITHIN A BUDDING GROVE :: 
Week 37: July 8 :: King Theodosius’ visit to Paris (41); Balbec church (48); Mme Swann (49); Odette and the Comte de Paris (58). Recording

Week 38: July 15: Odette & the Comte de Paris (58); Bergotte (60); my prose poem (62; cf. 35); Gilberte (65). Gestures which we believe have gone unnoticed (67); why M. de Norpois would not speak to Mme Swann about me (70).  Recording

Week 39: July 22: How I came to say of Berma: “What a great artist!” (72). The laws of Time (74). Effect produced by Norpois on my par­ents (75), on Françoise (76); her views on Parisian restaurants (78). 

Week 40: July 29: New Year’s Day visits (79). I propose to Gilberte that we should rebuild our friendship on a new basis (80); but that same evening I realize that New Year’s Day is not the first day of a new world (81). Berma and love (83). Gabriel’s palaces (84). I can no longer recall Gilberte’s face (84). She returns to the Champs-Elysées (85). “They can’t stand you!” (86) I write to Swann (86). Reawakening, thanks to involuntary memory, in the little pavilion in the Champs-Elysées, of the impressions experienced in Uncle Adolphe’s sanctum at Combray (89, 91; cf. I 99). Amorous wrestle with Gilberte (89). 

July 29: Meeting postponed

7.08.2010

Notes from week 37: Foreign Policy from Norpois

CAMARILLA: \kam-uh-RIL-uh; -REE-yuh\ , noun;
1. A group of secret and often scheming advisers, as of a king; a cabal or clique.
Origin: Camarilla comes from Spanish, literally, "a small room," from Late Latin camera, "chamber" ("vault; arched roof" in Latin), from Greek kamara, "vault."
Quote: "Mr Kiselev likened Yeltsin's entourage to a "camarilla" . . . which would turn Russia "into a gigantic banana republic corrupted from top to bottom by a rotten clique of demagogues". -- Marcus Warren, "Moguls at war over control of Kremlin", Daily Telegraph, July 23, 1999
HISTORY
  • During the Siege of Paris in 1871, the northern German states, supported by its German allies from outside of the confederation (excluding Austria), formed the GERMAN EMPIRE with the proclamation of the Prussian king WILHELM I of Prussia as German Emperor in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles (note: he was the grandson of Queen Victoria of England!).
  • The French term Entente-Cordiale ("cordial agreement") (amities?) was first used in English in 1844 (OED) to denote recognition of common interests between the United Kingdom & France. When used today, it almost always denotes the 2nd Entente-Cordiale, the written and partly secret agreement signed in London between the two powers on 8 April 1904.
  • The Franco-Russian Alliance was a military alliance between the French Third Republic and the Russian Empire that ran from 1892 to 1917. The alliance ended the diplomatic isolation of France and undermined the supremacy of the German Empire in Europe.
  • More on FRANCE in the 19th CENTURY  
~~~~~~~~~~
“What do I see? A Nesselrode pudding! As well! I declare, I shall need a course at Carlsbad after such a Lucullus-feast as this."

Recipe for and photos of Nesselrode Pudding...  "Flavored with chestnuts and maraschino, Nesselrode pudding was a Victorian favorite."

^^ CARLSBAD was/is a spa in Bohemia (current Czechoslovakia)

Lucullan  [loo-kuhl-uhn]  –adjective
1.(esp. of banquets, parties, etc.) marked by lavishness and richness; sumptuous.
2. of or pertaining to Lucullus or his life style. Also, Lu·cul·le·an  [loo-kuh-lee-uhn]   Lu·cul·li·an.  Origin: 1855–60;  < L Lucullanus; see Lucullus

"Lucullan." Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 08 Jul. 2010. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Lucullan>.

demi-monde - Marges de la bonne société, mais fréquentées par celle-ci. (En particulier) Milieu constitué autour de femmes légères, souvent vénales ou entretenues par les hommes du monde fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/demi-monde



Demi-mondaine was a polite 19th century term that was often used the same way we use the term "mistress" today. Demi-monde primarily referred to a class of women on the fringes of respectable society supported by wealthy lovers (usually each had several)...  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demimonde

6.30.2010

Notes from week 36: Norpois

  • Ernest LEGOUVÉ  (Secretary of the Académie Française, 1807–1903)
  • Nicolas BOILEAU-DESPRÉAUX  (French poet & critic, 1636–1711).
  • Paul CLAUDEL (French poet & diplomat, 1868–1955).
  • Phèdre. Jean Racine  (December 1639 – April 21, 1699): French dramatist, one of the "Big 3" of the 17th century (along with Molière and Corneille); one of the most important literary figures in the Western tradition.
  • La Revue des Deux Mondes (Review of the Two Worlds): French language monthly literary and cultural affairs magazine that has been published in Paris since 1829. Website here.
  • Andromaque (1667 RACINE play): tragedy based on the legend of Troy. Andromaque, widow of the slain Trojan hero Hector, is the beloved captive of King Pyrrhus. (Hmmm, did you say "captive?"...)
  • Alfred de MUSSET (French poet & playwright, 1810–57). The Moods of Marianne (Les Caprices de Marianne), is his 1833 play, which later was the basis for Jean Renoir's 1939 film, The Rules of the Game.
Assumption of the Virgin [“Frari Titian”] (1516-18 TITIAN painting)

Paintings by Carpaccio in San Giorgio degli Schiavoni (Venice)

Anatole FRANCE (French writer, 1844–1924).


Tombs of the Medici (Michelangelo) 

6.29.2010

Who Was King Theodosius?

The first Theodosius (Roman Emperor) outlawed homosexuality in CE 390, punishable by death.
The second Theodosius (Eastern Roman Emperor) in CE 438 codified all existing law into the Theodosian Code, which also expanded proscriptions against homosexuality.
In 342 (Codex Theodosianus, 9, 7, 3,) the first law was enacted in Milan regarding passive homosexuals. Harsher penalties were introduced by Theodosius I in a law addressed to the prefect of Rome in 390, with execution by burning for "those given to the infamy of condemning the male body, transformed into the female, to the toleration of practices reserved for the other sex" (Coll. Legum Mos. et Rom., 5.3). This law was inserted in the Theodosian Code of 438 (9, 7, 6), but substantially modified and with a wider scope. The new compilation condemned to burning all passive homosexuals without distinction. With the Emperor Justinian the legislation was broadened; every kind of homosexuality was repeatedly condemned with the death penalty. Theodosius gave as his reason the desire to rid Rome, "the mother of all virtues," from all contamination. Justinian also added religious reasons. The Theodosian laws, followed by those of Justinian in the Corpus Iuris, represent the heritage which late Roman law was to leave to posterity.( Taken from: L'Osservatore Romano, Weekly Edition in English, 19 March 1997, p.10)

La Berma

Bernhardt as Phèdre in Racine's Phèdre. From the Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Photograph: Paul Nadar, negative about 1874, print about 1880s, albumen silver print (cabinet card), 5 3/4 x 4 1/2 in. Introduced in the 1860s, cabinet cards were studio photos mounted on card stock for public sale. Widely collected, they often featured portraits of celebrities of the day (writers, musicians, actors). This Nadar photo of The Divine Sarah is from a collector's album of cabinet cards. The New York Times reviewed this in 1905.

6.12.2010

Notes from week 35: Dinner guests

Jockey-Club de Paris: The Jockey Club de Paris is best remembered as a gathering of the elite of nineteenth-century French society. The club still exists at 2 rue Rabelais, and hosts the International Federation of Racing Authorities. From Wikipedia: "Proust's Charles Swann was a member, a fact that Proust more than once noted as a signal honour, given his Jewish background."
Dr. Jules Cotard: Was he the model for Proust's character?
    Comments by other Proust readers onine:  C. Matthews here and D.Abrams here

    Note that Seize Mai was the day of a constitutional crisis, MacMahon resigned, and back in the park, while two men watched Odette parading down the avenue, one made a comment about being with her on that day (1877, in real history time). The parading, since Gilberte is already 12-ish, would have to be about 14-15 years later, say 1891-ish. This part of the novel was originally part of Place Names: The Name, but Proust's publisher thought v. 1 was getting too long, and so it was cut, to begin v.2.

    There is so much space given to describing the changes of Cottard and Swann, that you could even say that the doctor changed from a buffoon to a well-respected man and Swann changed in the opposite way.


    La Berma = Sarah Bernhardt
    Here are some photos in the Library of Congress of Bernhardt performing in the U.S. Nice crowds.
    In this exquisite portrait by Nadar (there were many, and he was the best), La Berma was only 20 years old. BTW, born Jewish & illegitimate.
    Here she is full-face. 

    6.11.2010

    Printable Photos of the Proust house at Illiers-Combray

    The Architectural Digest article begins here and the photos are here.

    6.10.2010

    For sale

    A site called Art.com offers a photograph of Proust, framed or unframed, then offers views of how it would look in various rooms of your home. I'm thinking about where he'd look best...

    6.01.2010

    Pages for June


    Week 34: June 3   (Finish PLACE-NAMES - THE NAME)
    A spring day in winter: joy and disappointment (575). The Swann of Combray has become a different person: Gilberte’s father (578). Gilberte tells me with cruel delight that she will not be returning to the Champs-Elysées before the New Year (580). “In my friendship with Gilberte, it was I alone who loved” (585). The name Swann (586; cf. 202). Swann meets my mother in the Trois Quartiers (588). Pilgrimage with Françoise to the Swanns’ house near the Bois (591). The Bois, Garden of Woman. Mme Swann in the Bois (594). A walk through the Bois one late autumn morning in 1913 (598). Memory and reality (606).

    Week 35: June 10 (Beginning WITHIN A BUDDING GROVE)
    Part 1 MADAME SWANN AT HOME :: A new Swann:  Odette’s husband (1; cf. 112 sqq.). A new Cot­tard: Professor Cottard (3). Norpois (5); the “governmental mind” (6); an ambassador’s conversation (8). “ ‘Although’ is always an unrecognized ‘because’ ” (10). Norpois advises my father to let me follow a lit­erary career (13).

    Vacation... for Week 36: July 1 ( WITHIN A BUDDING GROVE; recording)
    My first experience of Berma (15). My high expectations of her, as of Balbec and Venice (17). A great disappointment (20). Françoise and Michelangelo (21). The auditorium and the stage (24; cf. I 100).

    Norpois dines at our house (29). His notions about litera­ture (31); financial investments (33); Berma (37); Françoise’s spiced beef (39); King Theodosius’ visit to Paris (41-48); 

    5.28.2010

    New Volume Looms

    We've come to volume 2 of In Search of Lost Time.  Within a Budding Grove contains 2 sections:  Part 1:  Madame Swann at Home and Part 2:  Place-Names: The Place.

    Published in France in 1919 as À l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs. Proust received the prestigious Prix Goncourt that year for this book. It had been scheduled for release in 1914, but the war delayed its release for five years.  

    We're using the Enright revision of the Montcrieff / Kilmartin translation, which is excellent. The text in English is here;  the text in French is here and here (also a synopsis in French


    5.27.2010

    The Joys of Translating....

    Car Gilberte allait tous les jours la saluer ; elle demandait à Gilberte des nouvelles de « son amour de mère » ; et il me semblait que si je l’avais connue, j’avais été pour Gilberte quelqu’un de tout autre, quelqu’un qui connaissait les relations de ses parents. MP

    For Gilberte went up every day to speak to her; she used to ask Gilberte for news of her “dearest mother” and it struck me that, if I had known her, I should have been for Gilberte some one wholly different, some one who knew people in her parents’ world. CK

    For Gilberte went up to greet her every day; she used to ask Gilberte for news of her “adorable mother"; and it struck me that, if I had known her, I should have been for Gilberte someone wholly different, some one who knew people in her parents’ world. KILM

    For Gilberte went up to greet her every day; she asked Gilberte for news of “her love of a mother;" and it seemed to me that, had I known her, I would have been someone quite different for Gilberte, someone who knew her parents’ friends. DAVIS
    Et déjà Gilberte courait à toute vitesse dans ma direction, étincelante et rouge sous un bonnet carré de fourrure, animée par le froid, le retard et le désir du jeu ;  MP

    And now Gilberte was running at full speed towards me, sparkling and rosy beneath a cap trimmed with fur, enlivened by the cold, by being late, by her anxiety for a game; CK

    And now Gilberte was running at full speed towards me, sparkling and rosy beneath a cap trimmed with fur, enlivened by the cold, her lateness, and the desire for a game; KILM

    And already Gilberte was running as fast as possible in my direction, sparkling and red under a square fur hat, animated by the cold, the lateness, and her desire to play; DAVIS
    Car, moi qui ne pensais plus qu’à ne jamais rester un jour sans voir Gilberte (au point qu’une fois ma grand’mère n’étant pas rentrée pour l’heure du dîner, je ne pus m’empêcher de me dire tout de suite que si elle avait été écrasée par une voiture, je ne pourrais pas aller de quelque temps aux Champs-Élysées ; on n’aime plus personne dès qu’on aime), pourtant ces moments où j’étais auprès d’elle et que depuis la veille j’avais si impatiemment attendus, pour lesquels j’avais tremblé, auxquels j’aurais sacrifié tout le reste, n’étaient nullement des moments heureux ;MP

    For, although I no longer thought, now, of anything save not to let a single day pass without seeing Gilberte (so much so that once, when my grandmother had not come home by dinner-time, I could not resist the instinctive reflection that, if she had been run over in the street and killed, I should not for some time be allowed to play in the Champs-Elysées; when one is in love one has no love left for anyone), yet those moments which I spent in her company, for which I had waited with so much impatience all night and morning, for which I had quivered with excitement, to which I would have sacrificed everything else in the world, were by no means happy moments;  CK

    For, although I now no longer thought of anything save not to let a single day pass without seeing Gilberte (so much so that once, when my grandmother had not come home by dinner-time, I could not resist the instinctive reflection that if she had been run over in the street and killed, I should not for some time be allowed to play in the Champs-Elysées; when one is in love one has no love left for anyone), yet those moments which I spent in her company, for which I had waited with so impatiently all night and morning, for which I had quivered with excitement, to which I would have sacrificed everything else in the world, were by no means happy moments;  KILM

    For, although I no longer thought, now, of anything else but of not allowing a single day to pass without seeing Gilberte (so much so that once, when my grandmother had not returned by dinnertime, I could not help saying to myself immediately that if she had been run over by a carriage, I would not be able to go to the Champs-Elysées for a long time; we no longer love anyone else when we are in love), yet those moments when I was with her and which since the day before I had been awaiting so impatiently, for which I had trembled, for which I would have sacrificed everything else, were in no way happy moments;  DAVIS
    Mais à l’époque où j’aimais Gilberte, je croyais encore que l’Amour existait réellement en dehors de nous ; que, en permettant tout au plus que nous écartions les obstacles, il offrait ses bonheurs dans un ordre auquel on n’était pas libre de rien changer ; il me semblait que si j’avais, de mon chef, substitué à la douceur de l’aveu la simulation de l’indifférence, je ne me serais pas seulement privé d’une des joies dont j’avais le plus rêvé, mais que je me serais fabriqué à ma guise un amour factice et sans valeur, sans communication avec le vrai, dont j’aurais renoncé à suivre les chemins mystérieux et préexistants.  MP
    But at the period when I was in love with Gilberte, I still believed that Love did really exist, apart from ourselves; that, allowing us, at the most, to surmount the obstacles in our way, it offered us its blessings in an order in which we were not free to make the least alteration; it seemed to me that if I had, on my own initiative, substituted for the sweetness of a confession a pretence of indifference, I should not only have been depriving myself of one of the joys of which I had most often dreamed, I should have been fabricating, of my own free will, a love that was artificial and without value, that bore no relation to the truth, whose mysterious and foreordained ways I should thus have been declining to follow.  CK

    But at the period when I was in love with Gilberte, I still believed that Love did really exist outside ourselves; that, allowing us, at the most, to surmount the obstacles in our way, it offered its blessings in an order in which we were not free to make the least alteration; it seemed to me that if I had, on my own initiative, substituted for the sweetness of avowal a pretence of indifference, I should not only have been depriving myself of one of the joys for which I most longed, but fabricating, quite arbitrarily, a love that was artificial and valueless, that bore no relation to the true one, whose mysterious and foreordained ways I should thus have ceased to follow. KILM

    But during the period when I loved Gilberte, I still believed that Love really existed outside of us; that, allowing us at the very most, to remove obstacles in our way, it offered its joys in an order which we were not free to alter; it seemed to me that if I had, on my own initiative, substituted for the sweetness of confession the simiuation of indifference, I would not only have deprived myself of one of the joys of which I had dreamed most often but that I would have fabricated for myself in my own way a love that was artificial and without value, without any connection to the real one, whose mysterious and pre-existing paths I would have had to forgo following. DAVIS

    Avenue des Champs-Elysées


    Jean Béraud: "La Modiste Sur Les Champs Elysees"




    View towards the Place de la Concorde




    Promenade, with wooden benches (free)
    See Wiki info in English and new video

    Pages for May


    Pages: (Enright/Davis)

    Week 31: May 6
    The whole past shattered stone by stone (cf. 529/385). Bellini’s Mahomet II (505/368). An anonymous letter (506/369). Les Filles de Marbre (512/373). Beuzeville-Bréauté (513/374). Odette and women (513/374). 

    Week 32: May 13  (Finishing Swann in Love)
    Impossibility of ever possessing another person (517/374). On the Ile du Bois, by moonlight (519/379). A new circle of hell (522/381). The terrible re-creative power of memory (523/381). Odette & procuresses (525/383). Had she been lunching with Forcheville at the Maison Dorée on the day of the Paris-Murcie festival? (526/384; cf. 319/234). She was with Forcheville, and not at the Maison Dorée, on the night when Swann had searched for her in Provost’s (527/384; cf. 327/237). Odette’s suspect effusions (529/386). “Charming conversation” in a brothel (530/386). Odette goes on a cruise with the “faithful” (531/387). Mme Cottard assures Swann that Odette adores him (534/389). Swann’s love fades; he no longer suffers on learning that Forcheville has been Odette’s lover (538/392). Return of his jealousy in a nightmare (539/392). Departure for Combray, where he will see the young Mme de Cambremer whose charm had struck him at Mme de Saint-Euverte’s (541/394). The first image of Odette seen again in his dream: he had wanted to die for a woman “who wasn’t his type” (543/396).

    Week 33: May 20  (Beginning Part 3 PLACE-NAMES - THE NAME)
    Dreams of place-names. Rooms at Combray (545). Room in the Grand Hotel at Balbec (545; cf. 8). The real Balbec and the Balbec of dream (545). The 1.22 train (548). Dreams of spring in Florence (549; cf. 554). Words and names (550). Names of Norman towns (551). Abortive plan to visit Florence and Venice (554). The doctor forbids me to travel or to go to the theater to see Berma (559); he advises walks in the Champs-Elysées under Françoise’s surveillance (560).

    Week 34: May 27
    In the Champs-Elysées. A little girl with red hair; the name Gilberte (560). Games of prisoner’s base (562). What will the weather be like? (563). Snow in the Champs-Elysées (564). The reader of the Débats (Mme Blatin) (565; cf. 587). Marks of friendship: the agate marble, the Bergotte booklet, “You may call me Gilberte” (573); why they fail to bring me the expected happiness (574).

    Week 34: June 3 (Finishing PLACE-NAMES - THE NAME)
    A spring day in winter: joy and disappointment (575). The Swann of Combray has become a different person: Gilberte’s father (578). Gilberte tells me with cruel delight that she will not be returning to the Champs-Elysées before the New Year (580). “In my friendship with Gilberte, it was I alone who loved” (585). The name Swann (586; cf. 202). Swann meets my mother in the Trois Quartiers (588). Pilgrimage with Françoise to the Swanns’ house near the Bois (591). The Bois, Garden of Woman. Mme Swann in the Bois (594). A walk through the Bois one late autumn morning in 1913 (598). Memory and reality (606).


    5.11.2010

    Notes for May

    Portrait of Mahomet II by Bellini (also used in describing Bloch): 
    And Swann felt a very cordial sympathy with that Mahomet II whose portrait by Bellini he admired, who, on finding that he had fallen madly in love with one of his wives, stabbed her, in order, as his Venetian biographer artlessly relates, to recover his spiritual freedom. Then he would be ashamed of thinking thus only of himself, and his own sufferings would seem to deserve no pity now that he himself was disposing so cheaply of Odette's very life.

    La maison dorée restaurant around 1860. Wikipedia has a history and this page shows the evolution of the building on the corner. (p. 526/384)

    Possible letter-writers:
    1. Basin, Duc de GUERMANTES, as Prince des Laumes: (brother of Charlus & husband of Oriane). Consistently unfaithful: 481. Swann suspects he wrote the anonymous letter: 506-10.
    2. Palamède, Baron de CHARLUS (nicknamed Mémé; brother of Basin). At Combray, rumored lover of Mme Swann; 45, 137. Go-between with Odette: 442, 449, 456. Swann suspects he wrote the anonymous letter: 506-7.
    3. M. d'ORSAN (Swann’s friend..."they held the same views about everything", though was said to have indelicate relations with a certain wealthy woman).  Swann suspects he wrote the anonymous letter: 506-8.
    A procuress is a female pimp. Interestingly enough, this subject was popular among Dutch artists, including Swann's Vermeer! Here is a discussion of his painting The Procuress (1656); click on the title to see the whole image.  Two other paintings on the same subject are here and here.

    4.30.2010

    Notes from April

    Monocles, lorgnettes, and antique spectacles. More than you could have imagined. Right here.
     
    Painting of a footman sleeping: 1871, by Charles Bargue (French)  
     
    Party-goers:
    Marquise de GALLARDON, née Courvoisier. Obsessed with Guermantes family; speaks with her cousin the Princesse des Laumes (Oriane); snide remarks about Swann’s Jewishness: 467-77
    The “witty Guermantes set” as represented by the Princesse des Laumes.  Oriane, Duchesse de GUERMANTES (formerly Princess des Laumes; wife of Basin, her cousin). Marcel asks Legrandin if he knows her: 178. In Combray Church: 245-51. Friends with Swann: 383, 396. At Mme de Saint-Euverte’s, snubs Mme de Gallardon; speaks with Froberville & Swann: 470-88. 
    
    Marquis de CAMBREMER: Married Legrandin’s sister: I 92, 174.
    Marquise Renée de CAMBREMER (Legrandin’s sister; wife of the above). Lives near Balbec: I 92. Legrandin avoids giving Marcel’s family a letter of introduction to her: I 182-85. A Wagnerian, she despises Chopin: 472. The candle incident: 478. Admired by Froberville: 479. Swann & Oriane discuss her name: 485. Swann introduces her to Froberville: 488-89. Swann follows her to Combray: 541-42. 
    LEGRANDIN (in Combray, engineer & man of letters; Mme de Cambremer’s brother). Character & appearance; tirades against nobility; flowery speech: I 92-93. Strange behavior to Marcel’s father: 166-67. His snobbery; his wink: 174-82. Lyrical descriptions of Balbec; refuses to introduce his sister, Mme de Cambremer: 182-86 (see also 547-48). 
    
    

    4.18.2010

    Pages for April

    Pages: (Enright/Davis)

    Week 26:  April 1   (1/2 year!)
    Return of anguish--pain returns (426/311). The Bayreuth project (427/312). Love and death and the mystery of personality (438/320).

    Week 27: April 8
    Charles Swann and “young Swann” (440/321). Swann, Odette, Charlus and Uncle Adolphe (442/323). Longing for death (451/329).

    Week 28: April 15
    An evening at the Marquise de Saint-Euverte’s. Detached from social life by his love and his jealousy, Swann can observe it as it is in itself (458/335): the footmen (459/336); the monocles (463/338); the Marquise de Cambremer and the Vicomtesse de Franquetot lis­tening to Liszt’s “St. Francis” (466/340)

    Week 29: April 22
    Mme de Gallardon, a de­spised cousin of the Guermantes (467/341). Arrival of the Princesse des Laumes (469342); their conversation with Swann (483/353). Swann introduces the young Mme de Cambremer (Mlle Legrandin) to General de Froberville (489/357).

    Week 30: April 29
    Vinteuil’s little phrase poignantly reminds Swann of the days when Odette loved him (490/358). The language of music (495/364). Swann realizes that Odette’s love for him will never revive (502/366).

    3.27.2010

    Translators, Biographers, Scholars


    Scottish translator, born in Stirlingshire, educated at the University of Edinburgh. Best known for his inspired translations from the French, beginning with The Song of Roland (1919, Chanson de Roland), his letters, collected in C. K. Scott-Moncrieff: Memories and Letters (1931, edited by J. M. Scott-Moncrieff and L. W. Lunn), reveal his own accomplishment as a writer.

    After working as a private secretary to Lord Northcliffe, and writing for The Times, he began his famous translations of Proust's Remembrance of Things Past (A la recherche du temps perdu): Swann's Way (1922), Within a Budding Grove (1924), The Guermantes Way (1925), Cities of the Plain (1927), The Captive (1929), and The Sweet Cheat Gone (1930). He died before completing the work (later revised by Terence Kilmartin), but Scott-Moncrieff's great translation is generally recognized as itself a masterpiece of the art, some reviewers declaring it even superior to the original. He also translated Stendhal, including The Red and the Black (Le rouge et le noir, 1926), Pirandello, and Beowulf, and edited Marcel Proust: An English Tribute (1923).  Portrait by Edward Stanley Mercer in the National Galleries of Scotland.    More at Wikipedia.
     ~~~~
    Stephen Hudson was a pseudonym of the British novelist Sydney Schiff (1868–1944). He was the host at a party in Paris on May 18, 1922, when Marcel Proust met James Joyce. He and his wife Violet were friends of Proust, and donated their letters from him to the British Museum 
     ~~~~
    Frederick BlossomHudson's version [of The Past Recaptured / Time Regained] did not satisfy U. S. publishers A. & C. Boni, who chose Frederick A. Blossom, Ph. D., ex-professor at Johns Hopkins, to make the U. S. translation — careful, sober, with occasional Ph. D. irruptions into footnotes. (Time magazine, 8/29/32)
     ~~~~
    Terence Kilmartin was the literary editor of The Observer from 1951-1985.
     ~~~~
     ~~~~

    Interview with Lydia DavisAt Venus Zine
    Lydia Davis cooks a duck








    3.24.2010

    Notes from week 25: Pining & Whining & Dining


    Bal des Incohérents ::  definition  and Wikification


    Ludwig II, King of Bavaria :: The Incoherents and Ludwig's death in 1886 gives us more clues to the time frame of Swann & Odette.  

    Bayreuth, the city (Wiki)
    Bayreuth in the News:  Wolfgang Wagner, longtime Bayreuth director, dies (3/22/10)
    Book about the history of the festival

    Louis A. Clapisson, violinist turned comic-opera composer. Popular, but Berlioz, Bizet, and Debussy were not impressed. By comparing him to Bach, art-snob Swann was again trashing Odette's taste.