12.04.2014

Sodom and Gomorrah IV pp 108-117

p 109 |Rival claims to the ancient family name La Tour d'Auvergne had become something of a cause célèbre during the 19th & early 20th centuries; the Duc naturally takes the purist view that the claims were false, though the claims of the Duc de Bouillon appear not to have been too sound, either. (Sturrock)

p 110 |Charles-Victor Prévôt, Vicomte d'Arlincourt (1789-1856), was a writer whose historical novels were disguised attacks on the regime of King Louis-Philippe; Loïsa Puget (1810-89) was a poetess and musician who sang her own songs at social functions. The "days" Proust is referring to are thus those of the July Monarchy, after 1830.(Sturrock)

p 110 |There were so many (Duc de La Rochefoucauld), he probably didn't mean a real one.

p 111 | Louis Philippe, ruled 1830–48


Louis XV,  ruled1643-1715

 








p 112 | Jupiter Tonans ("Thundering Jove") was the aspect of Jupiter worshipped in an early temple. In Roman mythology, the supreme god of Romans; counterpart of the Greeks' Zeus.





p 113 | Stained glass window at Montfort-l'Amaury; see map. The village is west of Paris, near Rambouillet. The stained glass is 16th century. (Sturrock)

p 113 | ...red as a turkey cock

p 114 | ...low-cut dresses...

p 115 | The Campo Santo, also known as Camposanto Monumentale ("monumental cemetery") is a 12th century edifice at the northern edge of the Cathedral Square in Pisa, Italy. "Campo Santo" can be literally translated as "holy field" (cemetery). There are celebrated frescos showing such funereal scenes as The Triumph of Death and The Last Judgment. (Sturrock)

p 115 |... you can't get it twice...":  "Measles is a very contagious illness caused by a virus. It spreads by contact with droplets from the nose, mouth, or throat of an infected person... Persons who had measles or who have been vaccinated against measles are immune to the disease." (National Center for Biotechnology Information, NCBI)

p 117 | Aumale-Lorraine: a family dating back to the early 15th century and related by marriage to the junior or Orléans branch of the Bourbons. (Sturrock)

11.21.2014

Chasing Lost Time: The Life of C. K. Scott Moncrieff: Soldier, Spy, and Translator

Here is a link to a Q & A with C. K. Scott Montcrieff's great-great-niece the other day....
Her biography of him is coming out here (U.S.) in March. It's already out in England. Here is an English review.

11.16.2014

Sodom and Gomorrah IV pp 99-108

p 100 | ...Prince de Chimay: This might be Joseph de Riquet, Prince de Caraman-Chimay et de Caraman (1836-92), once the Belgian foreign minister, or more likely, his son, Joseph de Caraman-Chimay (1858-1937), whose sister was the Countess Greffulhe.

p 101 | concours general: an annual nationwide academic competition for the best 11th and 12th year students in France.


p 103 | Niccolò Machiavelli (Italian writer/historian, 1469-1527), author of The Prince.

p 104 | Prince Robert, Duc de Chartres (1840-1910), grandson of King Louis-Philippe.

p 104 | epicure: a person who cultivates a refined taste, especially in food and wine; connoisseur.
p 107 | Portrait of the Burgomaster Six whose portrait, along with that of his wife, is in the Six Collection in Amsterdam.

p 108 | Ab uno disce omnes :: "from one, learn all." From Virgil's Aeneid, referring to instances where a single example or observation indicates a general or universal truth.

11.09.2014

Recent links from posts in the Yhoo group

  1. "Proust and Hahn also met the American painter, Alexander Harrison, when they toured Brittany in 1895. They visited him again, at his Paris studio, in 1897.  Harrison was one of the models for Elstir, and Proust wrote, in 1908, that the painter had been "a stimulating guide." Here is one of the best articles I have found...on Harrison's influence.  "Landscape, Memory, Sensation: Alexander Harrison, tonalist painter and model for Marcel Proust" by David Adams Cleveland."
  2. A new biography of Countess Greffulhe (Elisabeth de Caraman-Chimay), one of the models for Oriane, the Princesse, etc. The beautiful one in the dress...

    "La Comtesse Greffulhe. L'ombre des Guermantes"  by Laure Hillerin. Flammarion, 570p., 24€. The Review in French with pictures.  

    **{{Reddening}} Here's a google-ized translation, fixed up by me, when I knew the fixes.**
     Countess Greffulhe, secret muse of Proust
    By Delphine Peras published 28/10/2014 at 08:15

    In a fascinating biography, full of unpublished documents, Laure Hillerin redisovers one of the most fascinating figures of the Belle Epoque: the beautiful and charismatic Elisabeth Greffuhle (1860-1952), who inspired the author of La Recherche in creating the character of Oriane, Duchesse de Guermantes.
    The character of Oriane, Duchesse de Guermantes (played here by Valentine Varela in the TV movie by Nina Companez) owes much to the Countess Greffulhe.
    "I discovered quite by chance, in consultation with clippings from the late nineteenth century, the Countess Greffulhe, born Elisabeth de Caraman-Chimay, was in her time the most visible woman in Paris. Thanks to documentation entrusted to me by Anne de Cosse Brissac, her great-great-granddaughter, author of the first book on her, which appeared in 1991. Also thanks to rich private archives deposited in the National Archives, I realized that there was still much to say about this exceptional personality who fascinated her contemporaries with her great beauty, her youthful figure, her "inspired" eyes, her often eccentric elegance.

    Married to the wealthy Henry Greffuhle, the Countess occupied a unique worldly position. It is precisely for this reason that history will forget her, in catagorizing her a bit too quickly as so many other society women who don't have a thought in their brain. They forget she has done a number of great things for the arts, particularly music, and science: the friend of Rodin and Marie Curie was a fund raiser ahead of her time, raising funds to organize shows, encourage basic research.

    She gave honored Wagner, sponsored Fauré, supported the Ballets Russes, promoted the works of Edouard Branly, found financing for the Radium Institute. She had a genius for public relations, the gift of contacting the right people at the right time. By creating the League of great musical auditions, she made the connection between musicians and socialites, some of whom had vast fortunes and could fund concerts and fill theaters. All Paris dreamed of being received in her legendary mansion on the rue d'Astorg, in the 8th arrondissement, nicknamed "the Vatican."

    A solid address book
    Countess Greffulhe knew everyone, all the crowned heads of Europe and the elite, as well as luminaries from politics. She was a friend of Georges Clemenceau, of Blum, who called her "the Oracle", Aristide Briand, Joseph Caillaux, and many others. She was pro-Dreyfus, a philanthropist, a feminist -- I found an incredible manuscript, written in her own hand about 1904, entitled My study on the rights to be given to women.

    It should be emphasized that Elizabeth did not receive formal education for young girls of her time, a rigid and appalling poverty. Her father, Joseph Caraman-Chimay, came from a long line of patrons and music lovers. Her mother, Marie de Montesquiou, was an exceptional woman, educated, musician, very close to her eldest daughter, which gave them the most intimate of confidences. Their correspondence deserves to be published.

    The Caraman-Chimay family was poor, but happy;  their fortune was not material but spiritual. Their six children had received very extensive arts educations, each playing an instrument. In this context, the marriage of Elizabeth to Count Henry Greffuhle in 1878, arranged by Marie de Montesquiou, may seem surprising. But the handsome and wealthy Henry was dreamed of by all the mothers -- even if he collected mistresses, like many of his contemporaries. At the very beginning of their marriage, Elizabeth was frustrated, she was isolated in the countryside, chaperoned by her mother-in-law, subject to the dictates of her prosaic in-laws, who were only interested in hunting: Reading a book or playing the piano was a waste of time.

    "Entrepreneur of spectacles"
    The early death of her mother at age 50, plunged her into disarray. But she will find the loophole to get out of her "prison": organizing a concert to benefit the Greffuhle foundation, which is still well within the norm of her good works. Its success is immense: she discovered her vocation as "impresario" ... She also has a passion for the sciences, which supports her spiritual quest, and for politics, where she serves as a link between men of good will. She was a cultivated woman, pragmatic, intelligent.

    Her letters are full of spirit, starting with those she exchanged with Marcel Proust. He always sought to minimize the role played by the Countess Greffulhe in La Recherche.  For her part, Elizabeth, at the end of her life, claimed that she had "barely known" him. Everyone took her word for it. In fact, their correspondence reveals much more closeness. A deeper analysis of the work and its drafts shows that Elizabeth inspired not only the characters of Oriane and Princess Marie de Guermantes, but also, notably, that of Odette de Crecy, who borrows the elegance of her grooming.

    She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. "All those who see the Countess remain as fascinated by her infinite eyes filled with light and shadows, and a glow that sings before her perfect beauty, before her absolute and divine grace," he wrote in an unpublished article from 1903, Le Salon de la Comtesse Greffulhe, which I miraculously found.

    "Too accessible" in the eyes of Proust
    During his "worldly" period, Proust dreamed of meeting her, then of winning her friendship, and of closely examining Count Greffuhle (almost unique model of the Duke de Guermantes). His friendship with the Duke of Guiche, son of the Countess Greffulhe, allowed him to approach her more closely. From 1906, he locks himself away to produce his work...

    Their roles are now reversed: it was she who wrote to him, invited him to her parties and her shows ... And he who refuses: he has the material he needed; she became too "accessible." Twice he refused, with horror,  her suggestion to come and pay him a visit. "It is not of course possible that you would risk venturing into my trench, among the poison gasses that are my anti-asthma fumigations!" he writes to her in 1916.

    They correspond through 1920. Proust was fascinated by the historical dimension, the "race" of Caraman-Chimay, a dynasty of lords of the Holy Roman Empire going back to the eleventh century. His draft notebooks show that his musings on family inspired the discovery of the "magic" name of Guermantes, which emerged in La Recherche.

    The power of fiction has won over "real life." The shadow of the Guermantes has relegated to obscurity this woman who had nevertheless managed her image as a work of art, with the aim of being "unforgettable." The memory of her was extinguished with her last contemporaries. And yet, this exciting and romantic life would make a great subject for a film or television series, of which the English know the secret ... "


11.06.2014

Sodom and Gomorrah IV pp 95-99


p 96 | "...the Academicians...": candidates for election to the various academies, the Académie Française above all, are expected to gather support in this way. (Sturrock notes)

p 96 | Mme de Durfort: the Durfort family appears in the Memoirs of Saint-Simon, one of Proust's principal sources of aristocratic names; various members were still prominent in Parisian society in his own day. (Sturrock notes)


p 97 | Mélanie Pourtalès: Comtesse Edmond de Pourtalès, née Mélanie de Bussière (c.1832-1914), had been a lady-in-waiting to the Empress Eugénie, wife of Napoleon III. (Sturrock notes)

Oratorian temple
p 97 | "Holy Synod and the Oratorian temple": the Holy Synod was an ecclesiastical body of the Russian Orthodox church, founded in 1721 and suppressed in 1917; in modern Russia, it serves by Church statute as the highest governing body of the Russian Orthodox Church in the periods between Bishops' Councils. Oratoire du Louvre is a Protestant church on the rue de Rivoli in Paris. It was given to the Protestants by Napoleon in 1811. Before then, it was the royal chapel of the kings of France. (Sturrock notes)

p 98 | General Staff: Representatives from all French military forces (army, navy, air, etc.).

p 99 | Eugène-Marin Labiche (1815-88), comic playwright who wrote many of the most popular and amusing light comedies of the 19th-century French stage. Born into the bourgeois class, which provided the social setting for most of his works. Typically, the plays are based on an improbable incident evolving into an imbroglio that brings out the folly and frailty of the characters.






10.31.2014

The photos that could have been, but never were...

I just re-found this extraordinary artist's portfolio of photographs of Proust (the dozen we know so well) ensconced in well-known Proustian hangouts.

Updates

Blog links updated. Been putting that one off. Thanks, MS, for the hint!

10.30.2014

Sodom and Gomorrah IV p 91-95

Manet, 1867
p 91 | The Grand Prix de Paris was a horse race run at Longchamp Racecourse (built 1857) in July. Still running.

p 92 | Mme Alphonse de Rothschild: (wiki). In 1857 Alphonse de Rothschild married a cousin, Leonora "Laure" de Rothschild (1837–1911), the daughter of Lionel de Rothschild (1808–1879) of the English branch of the family. They had four children.

p 92 | Baron Hirsch= Maurice de Hirsch de Gereuth (1831-96), Jewish banker & philanthropist.

p 92 | Charles-Ferdinand, Duc de Berry (1778-1820). He is reported by historians to have been temperamental, moody, selfish & extraordinarily ugly. For several years, he lived with (or married) an English woman named Amy Brown, and they had two daughters. (Some claim there was an official marriage that was annulled by the Pope when the Bourbons returned to power. However, no documentation has been produced to support this.)

The Duc de Berry was assassinated in 1820; a deathbed act was to legitimize his two daughters by Amy Brown and they were adopted by his royal wife. Both daughters later received titles from the Duc the Berry's father--King Charles X.

Two of the Duc's other mistresses were: Eugénie Virginie Oreille (1795–1875): had 2 sons: Charles Louis Auguste Oreille de Carrière (1815–58), who in turn fathered a son Charles (born in 1842), a lyric artist, married but without issue; and Ferdinand Oreille de Carrière (1820-76), who died unmarried.

With Marie Sophie de La Roche (1795–1883), there were 2 sons: Ferdinand de La Roche (1817–1908) and Charles de La Roche (1820-1901). None of these seem like Swann, or even like Swann's grandmother.

p 93 | "..where Monaldeschi was murdered...": (wiki) With the cession to the Papal States of Torre Alfina in 1664, the Monaldeschi ceased to play a part in the politics of Central Italy, though the marchese Gian Rinaldo Monaldeschi was reputed to be the lover of Christina of Sweden. When she discovered that Monaldeschi had betrayed her, she had him assassinated 10 November 1657, at Fontainebleau, where the she was staying. Her version is here.

p 94 | panem et circenses ("bread and circuses"): a political strategy formed by Juvenal to govern/control the Roman masses.

p 94 | pediment: the triangular upper part of the front of a building in classical, neoclassical, and baroque style, typically above a portico of columns. May have relief sculptures.

p 94 | caryatids: Supporting columns sculpted in the form of  draped female figures.

p 95 | Queen of Spain: did Proust mean Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg (reigned 1906-31), a grand-daughter of Queen Victoria of England?

10.15.2014

Sodom and Gomorrah IV p 78-90

p 78 | "Monsieur" [Philippe I, Duc d’Orléans, brother of Louis XIV, 1640–1701]. From Wikipedia:" During the reign of his brother he was known simply as Monsieur, the traditional style at the court of France for the younger brother of the king. Unabashedly effeminate and preferentially homosexual, he nonetheless fulfilled his dynastic duty by marrying twice and begetting several children.  

p 79 | ..."my little Coburgs..."= The House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

p 82 | Standish, Hélène (1847-1933). Proust met her (née Hélene de Prusse des Cars) for the first time in 1912. The Doudeauvilles were a branch of the La Rochefoucauld family, hence highly aristocratic. (Sturrock notes)

p 83 | Tiepolo red... ; collar of rubies
ruby collar


by Tiepolo
p 83 | viaticum :: the Catholic Eucharist given to a person in danger of death as part of the last rites; literally, "provisions for a journey."

p 86 | School of Political Sciences (École Libre des Sciences Politiques): Ecole des Sciences Politiques: a private institution, founded in 1871, to teach law. economics, and history, which quickly came to specialize in training future senior civil servants. It was nationalized in 1945 as the Institut des Etudes Politiques. (Sturrock notes)

p 87 | Desert Fathers=Christian hermits, ascetics, and monks who lived mainly in the Scetes desert of Egypt starting around 3rd century C.E.

p 87 | Racine's famous tragedies, Athalie and EstherNeither of the two tragedies has a homosexual theme; the "race" Racine is concerned with in both plays is the Jews. The quotations are from Esther, as modified by Proust. (Sturrock notes)

p 87 | Temple at Jerusalem; throne-room at Susa. In 1912, the Comtesse Blanche de Clermont-Tonnerre gave a famous "Persian" party, the decor of which reproduced that of the walls of the recently discovered throne room in the ancient palace of Suze, in Tunisia. (Sturrock notes)

p 89 | Proust and Racine


d'Annunzio
p 89 |  Gabriele D'Annunzio (Italian writer, 1863-1938), with a reputation as a womanizer.

p 90 | Alexander Pavlovich Isvolsky (1856-1919), Russian ambassador in Paris (1910-17), involved in Anglo-Russian Alliance.

p 90  Ibsen died in 1906, and his appearance contemporary with Isvolsky is implausible. (Sturrock notes)

p 90 | Le Gaulois (French daily newspaper); founded 1868, was famous before 1914 for its social coverage, which took readers away from Le Figaro—the paper it merged with in 1928. (Sturrock notes)

10.02.2014

Sodom and Gomorrah IV p 70-77



p 70 | ..."the supple form of a winged victory."  Whist card game.

p 71 | ... "Harmony in Black and White" by Whistler ; Maltese cross

p 72 | ... "tilting at windmills"= attacking imaginary enemies

p 73 |  Nuncio (also papal nuncio)= an ecclesiastical diplomat (like an ambassador), a representative of the Holy See to a state; usually an archbishop. Duc d'Aiguillon (but which one?)

p 76 | Hubert Robert (1733-1808), French painter of ruins &  views & landscapes & fountains. See some works here, a bit of erotic symbolism here

p 77 | Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich of Russia (1847–1909), the second son of Tsar Alexander II; he spent long periods in Paris with his wife, Maria Pavlovna, who appears in the final volume of the novel (Sturrock notes).

Sodom and Gomorrah IV p 55-66

p 55 | A French cour d'assises or Assize Court is a criminal trial court with limited jurisdiction to hear cases involving defendants accused of major felonies or indictable offences, or crimes in French, and one of the few to be decided by jury trial.

p 56 | Hyperthermia is overheating of the body.Heat stroke (or sun stroke) is a form of hyperthermia. Sudation = sweating.

p 58 | The Quai d’Orsay is part of the left bank of the Seine, as well as the name of the street along it. The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs is located there and is often called the "Quai d'Orsay."

p 59 | La Presse was founded in 1836 by Émile de Girardin as a popular conservative enterprise. While other papers depended heavily on subscription & close party affiliation, La Presse was sold by street vendors. Street-arabs are homeless children who survive by begging and stealing; urchins. Jacobin: During the French Revolution, a supporter of left-wing revolutionary opinions.

p 61 | Bourbonesque refers to the House of Bourbon, a European royal house (family) of French origin.

p 62 | Bernhard von Bülow (1849–1929), was a German statesman who served as Chancellor of the German Empire (1900-09) and married an Italian, Maria Beccadelli di Bologna, Marchesa di Altavilla, Principessa di Camporeale (1848-1929). Pincio: hill terrace in Rome.

p 62 | ..."eminent French diplomat... John Sturrock 518 writes that this is Maurice Paléologue  (1859–1944), a French diplomat, historian, and essayist. Elizabeth Charlotte, Duchess of Orléans (Princess Palatine) was described as stolid and mannish, with the stamina to hunt all day. She walked too rapidly for most courtiers to keep up, save the king.

p 66 | References to Act 2 of Wagner's opera Tannhäuser.

Dresden china plates


9.15.2014

Sodom and Gomorrah IV p 44-52

Place de la concorde bordercropped.jpg
Licensed CC BY-SA 2.5
p 45 | Luxor obelisk on the Place de la Concorde

p 45 |Crescent moon & star (here, Venus)







p 46 | Ushers assist visitors by formally showing the way in a large building or to their appropriate seats. From the French huissier, ushers were servants or courtiers who showed visitors in and out of meetings in large houses or palaces.  Avenue Gabriel.

p 47-48 | French military painter Édouard Detaille, 1848-1912. The Dream is his 1888 (Le Rêve) painting that shows soldiers asleep on a battlefield dreaming of military glory.

p 50-51 | Thomas Henry Huxley, 1825–95, English biologist (comparative anatomist), known as "Darwin's Bulldog" for advocating the theory of evolution. Grandfather of Aldous Huxley, 1894–1963, English writer, perhaps best known for his dystopian novel Brave New World. A humanist, pacifist, & satirist, he later became deeply concerned that humans might become subjugated through the sophisticated use of the mass media or mood-altering drugs, or tragically impacted by misunderstanding or the misapplication of increasingly sophisticated technology.

p 51 | François de Malherbe, French poet, 1555-1628.

p 51 | ... dancing the Boston...": a type of waltz. Cotillion dance & favors.

p 52 | ... draught of honeydew"; or l'eau de mélisse

9.08.2014

Sodom and Gomorrah IV p 28-44

p 29 | convolvulus: climbing morning glory plant with tendrils

p 30 | Saturn... as in Saturnalia?

p 30 | cross-dressing in 19th century Paris




p 32 | Rob Roy... Diana Vernon : two characters in Sir Walter Scott's 1817 novel Rob Roy.

sterile jellyfish on the beach
p 34 | ... cases where inversion is curable...

p 35 | urticaria = hives;

p 36 | Griselda;  Andromeda; Argonauts;

p 36 | Athénaïs Michelet: a French natural history writer; girandole = showy branching, e.g., fireworks, candelabra; vanilla = "...Blooming occurs only when the flowers are fully grown. Each flower opens up in the morning and closes late in the afternoon on the same day, never to re-open. If pollination has not occurred meanwhile, it will be shed. The flowers are self-fertile but need pollinators to perform this task. The flowers are presumed to be pollinated by stingless bees and certain hummingbirds, which visit the flowers primarily for nectar. Hand pollination is the most reliable method in commercially grown Vanilla." (Wikipedia)

Vanilla
p 39 | Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife); Primula veris (English Cowslip / primrose); infusoria (ciliates, protozoa, etc.); everything about plant reproductive morphology; hermaphrodite plants and animals

p 40 | Dioecious species have the male and female reproductive structures on separate plants.

p 42 | ... two angels posted at the gates of Sodom...: from Genesis 19: 1-29.

p 43 | Genesis 13:16 = "... other verse of Genesis..."

p 44 | Zionist movement=a nationalist movement that supports the creation of a Jewish homeland in the territory defined as the Land of Israel...Zionism emerged in the late 19th century in central & eastern Europe as a national revival movement, and soon after, most leaders of the movement associated the main goal with creating the desired state in Palestine, which was then an area controlled by the Ottoman Empire.(Wikipedia)

8.21.2014

Sodom and Gomorrah IV p 22-28

p 22 | "Socrates was... ". Maybe. There was a teacher/student thing, an active/passive thing, a bisexual thing. Here's an overview.
p 23 | A Masonic Lodge, often termed a Private Lodge or Constituent Lodge, is the basic organisational unit of Freemasonry.
p 25 | Sons of the Indre...":  i.e., natives of the département of the Indre, in central France.
p 26 | Union of the Left (Union des Gauches) was formed from a merger between two radical groups in 1885, another in 1899 in response to the Dreyfus Affair. {Sturrock, note 17}
p 26 | The Schola Cantorum de Paris is a private music school, founded in 1894.
p 27 | Potin's : local grocery Proust would have known. In 1864 a shop was opened on the Boulevard Malesherbes.
p 28 | Saint-Simonianism: French political & social movement in the early 19th century, inspired by the ideas of Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de Saint-Simon (1760–1825). He was has been as a utopian socialist, the founder of sociology and a "prescient madman," who thought the growth of industrialization & scientific discovery would profoundly change society.
p 28 | Galatea: in mythology, a sea nymph who loved the shepherd Acis. The giant Polyphemus crushed him under a rock. 

7.28.2014

Sodom and Gomorrah IV p 1-21

Sodom and Gomorrah (The Cities of the Plain)

p 1 | "...rose-pink campanile..." (bell tower; this one is Giotto's in Florence); coach-house = carriage house;  eyrie or aerie: large nest of a bird of prey, especially an eagle, typically built high in a tree or on a cliff.
ruddy mica flakes



p 2 | pollination
p 2 | Excellent essay on Count Robert de Montesquiou (left), who was a partial model for the Baron de Charlus...
the chapel at Combray

p 7 | "... Beethoven's questioning phrases..." In Hammerklavier’s Adagio Sostenuto or the Sixteenth Quartet?
p 10 | Boer War (Second)
p 12 | Fanlight = window  transom
p 12 | pregnancy (of Nero) in the Golden Legend.
p 13 | Caliph of Baghdad dressed as a merchant
p 14 | Gare d'Orléans; Orléans is about 83 miles ssw of Paris.
p 15 | Cathedral of Orléans
real penholder
stereoscope
p 15 | optical penholder (stereoscope)
p 15 | ophthalmia = inflammation of the conjunctiva or the eyeball;




Centaur
p 15 | Diane  de Poitiers, mistress of King Henri II of France. Her Renaissance house in Orleans was destroyed in June 1940. {Sturrock, note 10}
nymph
p 16 | mantle in gules (heraldry); "I have three popes in my family": possibly an allusion to three Renaissance popes from the Medici family in Florence from whom Charus is supposedly descended: Leo X, Clement VII, and Leo XI. {Sturrock, note 11}
p 18 | "... word dear to the ancient Greeks...";  Athena: the goddess who protects Ulysses in both the Iliad & the Odyssey. In Book XIII of the Odyssey, she finally reveals herself to him, having earlier appeared in the guise of an adolescent. {Sturrock, note 12}
p 19 | Mene, Tekel, Upharsin (the writing on the wall); prophetic words written on the wall by the fingers of a man's hand during King Belshazzar's fatal feast in Babylon. They were interpreted by the prophet Daniel to mean that Belshazzar's reign, and indeed his life, were over (see Daniel 5). {Sturrock, note 13}
p 20 | A nymph in Greek & Latin mythology is a minor female nature deity usually associated with a specific location or landform. Not goddesses, nymphs are seen as divine spirits who animate nature, often shown as beautiful, young nubile maidens who dance and sing. Ephebes are young adolescent men of (military) training age.
p 20 | Original sin and racial predestination.
p 21 | ... honour precarious, liberty provisional, ... position unstable, ... the poet one day feted in every drawing room & applauded in every theatre in London, and the next driven from every lodging... (Oscar Wilde, anyone?, Wilde was convicted of gross indecency and sentenced to two years' hard labor,1895-97.)
p 21 | turning the mill like Samson....

p 21 | "two sexes shall die... " Vigny poem, Proust's meaning, timing, connection to Baudelaire are all discussed beginning on page 18 of Proust's Lesbianism by Elisabeth Ladenson; a line from Alfred de Vigny's poem "La Colere de Samson", where Samson becomes disillusioned with women following his betrayal by Delilah. {Sturrock, note 14}

6.20.2014

The Guermantes Way III p 784-87

p 784 | "... I could scarcely see into our courtyard, but I caught a glimpse of several others, and this though of no practical use to me, diverted me for a time..."

p 785 | coach-house (converted now)

p 787 | coins of the Order of Malta (wiki); Order of St. John in Jerusalem ; Grand Masters of the Order; Knights of Cypress & Rhodes; Knights Templar.

p 787 | House of Lusignan, Kings of Cyprus

6.18.2014

The Guermantes Way III p 779-84

p 779 | French nobility hierarchy etc. (Almanach de Gotha)
p 780 | Anne Geneviève de Bourbon, Duchesse de Longueville (1619-75); Louis de Bourbon, Prince of Condé 
p 780 | Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia (1828–1885); Franco-Prussian War of 1870
p 780 | Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour, also known as Madame de Pompadour (1721-64)
p 780 | Egeria or Egeria (mythology) ?
p 781 | "... Types of mind are so varied..."
"As I scarcely ever go out, I read a great deal. I have had sent me the works of Baudelaire, which have made me furious. Baudelaire was crazy! He died in a hospital, after having written some verses which attracted the good opinion of Victor Hugo, and which possessed no other merit than that of being immoral. Now they are making him out to be a man of genius, who was misunderstood!" [Title: Letters to an Unknown; Author: Prosper Mérimée)
p 783 | "how many quarterings one has..." In heraldry, a method of joining several coats of arms together in one shield.

p 783 | Joseph de Cléron, Comte d'Haussonville (1809–84), French politician & historian; his wife, Louise d'Haussonville.
p 783 | Mme Delessert (Mérimée's mistress)
p 784 | Elie Charles de Tallyrand, Prince of Chalais (b. 1809)
 

6.12.2014

The Guermantes Way III p 735-41

Sabran
Tallien
p 735 | Choiseul & Mme de Praslin; Lucinge / Duc de Berry
p 735 | Mme Tallien (also here) and Mme de Sabran

p 735 | "The Prince d’Agrigente having asked why Prince Von had said, in speaking of the Duc d’Aumale   [Henri d'Orléans, Duke of Aumale (1822–97) was a son of Louis-Philippe], ‘my uncle,’ M. de Guermantes had replied: “Because his mother’s brother, the Duke of Wurttemberg [Duke Alexander of Württemberg (1804–81)], married a daughter of Louis-Philippe [Princess Marie of Orléans (1813–1839), who was a daughter of Louis-Philippe].” 
Memling
Carpaccio











p 735 | ... reliquary painted by Carpaccio or Memling 

p 735-36 | ... [German] castle called Fantaisie...


p 736 | Balzac's La Comédie humaineEugène de Rastignac; Laurence de Cinq-Sygne


p 736 | Romanesque architecture


p 737 | A miller usually refers to a person who operates a mill, a machine to grind a cereal crop to make flour. Milling is among the oldest of human occupations. Milling existed in hunter-gatherer communities, and was important to the development of agriculture. The materials are often foodstuffs, esp. grain. Non-food substances needed in a fine, powdered form, such as building materials, may be processed by a miller; A poem by Jean de La Fontaine: The Miller, His Son And The Ass.


p 738 | Inverted commas: Quotation marks or inverted commas (also called quotes or speech marks) are punctuation marks surrounding a quotation, direct speech, or a literal title or name. They can also be used to show a different meaning of a word/phrase other than the one typically associated with it & are often used to express irony.


p 739 | verb. sap., Latin, abbreviation for verbum sapienti sat est ("a word is enough to the wise;" Proust wrote: "à demi-mot...").


p 741 | Chouan rising: A Royalist uprising in 12 French départements against the French Revolution, the First French Republic, and even under the Empire. It played out in 3 phases, from 1794 until 1800.


The ultimate reference book: The Almanach de Gotha, here at Wikipedia




6.05.2014

Albertine is out of sequence for us

but I found this piece in the current issue of The London Review of Books. A meditation on authors and characters and the connection, real or imagined, between them, specifically, Marcel, Albertine, Proust, Alfred, Albert, Mallarmé.

 ** SPOILER ALERT **  Significant plot points are revealed beginning at #45
Ah, I see. It's to be a book. Of poetry.

June 25, 2014 0811223175
Anne Carson's take on Albertine, Marcel Proust's famous love interest
The Albertine Workout contains fifty-nine paragraphs, with appendices, summarizing Anne Carson’s research on Albertine, the principal love interest of Marcel in Proust’s Á la recherche du temps perdu.

5.29.2014

The Guermantes Way III p 730-34

p 730 | Danish port of Elsinore in Hamlet
p 731 | Gédéon Tallemant des Réaux, French writer, 1619-92. 
p 731 | Rohan=House of Rohan (French aristocratic family)
p 731 | Guy Auguste de Rohan-Chabot, known as the chevalier de Rohan and the comte de Chabot (1683-1760), was a French nobleman most notable for an altercation with Voltaire. 
p 731 | House of Guéméné.
p 731 | The phrase “natural son” in a will meant an acknowledged child of the testator who had been born out of wedlock. 
p 731 | ?? Aimé, duc de Clermont-Tonnerre (1779-1865) was a French general and statesman. (Unmarried?)
p 732 | Belvédère =in architecture, a terraced pavilion; Jean Casimir-Périer (1847-1907) was the 5th President of the Third Republic; Croix du Grand-Veneur was an historical crossroads on the path of Joan of Arc.
p 732 | Xenophon (c.430–354 BC) was a Greek historian, soldier, mercenary, and student of Socrates. He went with the Ten Thousand, an army of Greek mercenaries hired by Cyrus the Younger, who wanted to seize the throne of Persia from his brother, Artaxerxes II. 
p 732 | Epicurus (341–270 BC), an ancient Greek philosopher, founder of Epicureanism. 
p 732 | Duchy of Uzès
p 733 | Roman poets
p 734 | François Michel Le Tellier, Marquis de Louvois (1641–91) was the French Secretary of State for War for much of the reign of Louis XIV. Louvois and his father, Michel le Tellier, would increase the French Army to 400k soldiers, which would fight 4 wars between 1667 and 1713. Commonly referred to as Louvois, he fathered three daughters.

5.27.2014

The Guermantes Way III p 722-30

p 722 |General Louis Botha (S. African statesman, 1862-1919).
p 723 | Edward VII (1841–1910) was King of the United Kingdom & Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death. Before ascending the throne, he had been the Prince of Wales. Alexandra of Denmark (1844–1925) was his Queen consort.
p 724 | ... "Prince of Bulgaria..." Ferdinand I (1861–1948),born Ferdinand Maximilian Karl Leopold Maria of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha, was the ruler of Bulgaria from 1887 to 1918, first as knyaz (prince regnant, 1887–1908) and later as tsar (1908–1918). He was also an author, botanist, entomologist & philatelist
p 725 | Saint Louis: Louis IX (1214–70), known as Saint Louis, was King of France from 1226 until his death. An 8th-generation descendant of Hugh Capet, he was a member of the House of Capet, son of Louis VIII & Blanche of Castile. He is the only canonized king of France. 
"Louis' wisdom and fairness in administering justice was well-known in Europe. In summer, he would often go from church to a nearby park where he sat beneath an oak tree with several courtiers. "Is there anyone here who has a case to settle?" he would ask, and whoever did could come and speak with him freely. When faced with a problem between a rich person & a poor person, Louis always listened a little more carefully to the poor person. The rich, he said, had plenty of people ready to listen to them."
p 725 | Boaz: a major figure in The Book of Ruth in the Bible.

p 726 | Widow's weeds: Black clothes worn by a widow in mourning. Early 18th cent. (earlier as mourning weeds): weeds (obsolete in the general sense garments) is from Old English, waed(e), of Germanic origin.

p 727 | Republican: Republicanism is the ideology of governing a society or state as a republic, where the head of state is a representative of the people who hold popular sovereignty rather than the people being subjects of the head of state. The head of state is typically appointed by means other than heredity, often through elections.
p 727 | Prosody: the rhythm and pattern of sounds of poetry & language.
p 727 | Ducs de La Rochefoucauld and Ducs de Doudeauville.
p 728 | Duc de Montmorency
p 728 | Santrailles (Xaintrailles), Jean Poton de (French Marshal, 1390?–1461), was one of the chief lieutenants of Joan of Arc. He served as master of the royal stables, as royal bailiff in Berry & as seneschal of Limousin. In 1454 he was appointed a Marshal of France and was a leading figure on the French side in the Hundred Years War
p 730 | Catherine de Clèves (1548-1633) was, by marriage, Duchess of Guise from 1570 to 1588. She was Countess of Eu in her own right from 1564, and the widow of Antoine de Croy, Prince de Porcien. 
.