Random Proust Sightings

February 15, 2011 Posted by Vicky Raab
When I started “The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore,” I began to have worrisome Proustian flashbacks of being a chimp in a weird but normal family of very cute chimps in very cute outfits who lived in my house and ate coveted breakfast cereals with me—Wheat Chex, Corn Chex, and Rice Chex—who are maybe on “The Ed Sullivan Show” around the time of the Beatles?  Read more New Yorker Book Bench blog
Published there in 2005 and discovered in a Paris book shop by FSG editor Lorin Stein (who commissioned an English translation, appearing in paperback this month), 03 is a single paragraph that runs for 85 pages, a young man's simultaneously punkish and Proustian meditations on his attraction toward a mentally disabled girl at a bus stop. The Daily Beast


Notes for January 2011

Ludion:  Cartesian devil or Cartesian diver. (p. 198 )   See Wikipedia. 

"Mage with arched nose & fair hair in Luini fresco" (p. 198) resembled Swann:  Go here for full picture (Adoration of the Magi)

Port-Royal (Abbey, then hospital in Paris) [p. 185]


Pages for January 2011

1/6:  Lunch at the Swanns’ with Bergotte (164). 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). Vices of the man and morality of the writer (181). Bergotte and Berma (183). “A powerful idea communicates some of its power to the man who contradicts it” (186). A remark of Swann’s, prelude to the theme of The Captive (188).

1/13:  Gilberte’s characteristics inherited from both parents (190). Swann’s confidence in his daugh­ter (193). Are my pleasures those of the intelligence? (195). Why Swann, according to Bergotte, needs a good doctor (199). Combray society and the social world (199). My parents’ change of mind about Bergotte and Gilberte; a problem of etiquette (203).

1/20:  Revelations about love (205; cf. I 129); Bloch takes me to a second-rate house of assignation (205). “Rachel when from the Lord” (207). Aunt Léonie’s furniture in the brothel (208). Ama­tory initiation at Combray on Aunt Léonie’s sofa (208). Work projects constantly postponed (210). Impossibility of happiness in love (214). My last visit to Gilberte (214-17).

1/27:  I decide not to see her again (217). Unjust fury with the Swanns’ butler (222). Waiting for a letter (222). I renounce Gilberte forever (224); but the hope of a reconciliation is superimposed on my resolve (226). Intermittence, law of the human soul (227).