3.28.2013

The Guermantes Way III p 328-43

p 328 | "The Learned Sisters" (in French, "les Doctes Soeurs," i.e., The Muses

p 329 | Rue Royal Club: This imposing group portrait commissioned from Tissot at the end of the Second Empire invites us to access the intimacy of the Circle of the Rue Royale, a male club founded in 1852. Painted in 1868. Charles Haas, one of the models for Swann, is on the far right. By the mid-1800s, maybe they were admitting "every Tom, Dick and Harry" as Bloch imagines, but not when this painting was done.





p 330 |  Devil's Island:  French penal colony off the coast of South America.
p 330 |  From Traharne:  "Caudine Forks ... company": this alludes to a conference in September 1898, presided over by the newspaper editor Gerault-Richard, in which the Socialists were to discuss the Dreyfus Affair and at which Jaurès was to speak. The Caudine Forks were the narrow pass where the Roman army was trapped by the Samnites in 321 B.C. and made to pass under the yoke.
p 330 | Praetorian Guard, Latin Cohors Praetoria, household troops of the Roman emperors. Here, I think, Norpois means to refer to a private army.
Pike medieval weapon consisting of a spearhead attached to a long pole or pikestaff; superseded by the bayonet.
p 331 | the Spree: German / Czech river which also runs through Berlin
p 331 | ultima ratio: The last resort. Short for the metaphor "The Last Resort of Kings and Common Men" referring to the act of declaring war; used in the names the French sniper rifle PGM Ultima Ratio. Louis XIV of France had Ultima Ratio Regum ("last argument of kings") cast on the cannons of his armies; motto of the 1st Battalion 11th Marines.
p 332 | Col. Émile Driant (1855–1916) was a French nationalist writer, politician, and army officer.
p 332 | Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929) was a French statesman who led the nation to victory in WWI. On 1/13/1898, Clemenceau, as owner/editor of the Paris daily L'Aurore, published Émile Zola's "J'accuse" on the front page. He decided to run the controversial article, which became a famous part of the Dreyfus Affair, in the form of an open letter to the President, Félix Faure.
p 334 | Atavism is the tendency to revert to ancestral type (Biol). In social science, atavism is a cultural tendency, e.g., people in the modern era reverting to the ways of thinking & acting of a former time. The word atavism is derived from the Latin atavus. An atavus is a great-great-great-grandfather or, more generally, an ancestor. In this case, the duc is dropping his modern political position & adopting one associated more with an older (titled) relative (anti-Dreyfusard).
p 334 | Japhetics: the descendants of Japheth, the third son of Noah and father of the white race (i.e., Europeans). So this may be an ethnic slur, which could have caused Bloch's surprised response.
p 335 | As editor, M. Judet maintained a conservative, Nationalist position in this newspaper. Zola later sued him, with the result shown in this headline from the New York Times:  
Zola's Defamers Convicted; French Novelist Wins His Suit Against Le Petit Journal -- Crowd Cheers His Enemies. PARIS, Aug. 3. -- The libel action of M. Emile Zola against Le Petit Journal has resulted in a fine of 2,000f. upon M. Judet, the editor, and of 500f. upon each of his two assistants. The three were mulcted in 5,000f. each as damages. 
p 337 | Vicomte Raymond de Borelli's (1827-1906) play in verse Alain Chartier (1889) shocked some theater-goers.
p 338 | Ferdinand Brunetière (1849-1906), French critic. Taught at the École Normale Supérieure & was director of the Revue des deux mondes.
p 338 | surah: soft twilled silk
p 340 | suzerainty: A relation between states in which a subservient nation has its own government, but is unable to take international action independent of the superior state.
p 342 | pun in French: "parle de Saint-Loup" and "parle de loup" ("speak of the devil")