2.05.2014

The Guermantes Way III p 598-607

p 598 | Though there were several Princesses de Parme, the one in the book is a created composite character. One of the sources Proust used for her, according to George Painter's Marcel Proust: A Biography (v.2, p 97-98) was Princesse Mathilde Bonaparte, who also appears in the book as herself.
p 599 | ... Dresden figures....

p 600 | ... the wit of the Mortemarts...: a French family known for the esprit Mortemart, a particular type of wit which allowed impossible things to be said.
p 600 | "... supple undulation of those tresses of light whose loosened hairs run like flexible rays along the sides of a moss-agate..."
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Moss-agate
p 602 | ...gave as its source the mythological impregnation of a nymph by a divine Bird... Yeah, I'll just go with Leda and the Swan here...
p 602 | Prince Gilbert de Guermantes (Basin's cousin; nephew of Mme de Villeparisis)
p 604 | Hannibal Barca, who threw snakes onto ships to win battles. Also the Barca family emblem in Flaubert's novel Salammbô.
p 605-7 | Marquise de Gallardon (née Courvoisier, the other side of the Guermantes family.)
p 606 | The Ligne and de La Trémoille families still exist.
p 606 | Perche, former province of northern France. (Percherons!)
p 606 | "And if but one is left, then that one will be me." (Et s'il n'en reste qu'un, je serai celui-là !) Last line of Ultima Verba (ca. 1853) by Victor Hugo, in exile because he would not accept the reimposition of a Bonapartist monarchy under Napoleon III, the emperor's nephew, whom Hugo dubbed "Napoléon le petit."
p 607 | "Thanks to the gods..." From Andromaque by Racine, V v.