9.29.2015

Sodom and Gomorrah IV pp 456-70

p 456 | Banat;  Louis d'Harcourt; Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, 1755-1826): French lawyer and politician, who gained fame as an epicure and gastronome; sibylline = referring to certain women of antiquity reputed to possess powers of prophecy or divination; a female prophet or witch.

p 457 | Piquet=an early 16th-century trick-taking card game for two players. The river Dives runs through Cabourg (Balbec), this is the church by the river, Notre Dame de Dives sur mer.

p 459 | daubing: to coat or smear (a surface) with a thick or sticky substance in a carelessly rough way. 

p 459 | Paul César Helleu (1859-1927): French oil painter, pastel artist, drypoint etcher, and designer, best known for numerous portraits of beautiful society women of the Belle Époque. He also conceived the ceiling mural of night sky constellations for Grand Central Terminal in NYC. Father of Jean Helleu, grandfather of Jacques Helleu, both artistic directors for Parfums Chanel. 
Jouy

p 460 | French strawberry mousse recipe.

p 463 | See a summary of these pages here, with comments.
 
p 466 | "a piece of green lustre plugging a broken pane...": a drop-shaped piece of cut glass or crystal used as a decoration on a chandelier, vase, etc. Or, a shiny metallic surface on some pottery and porcelain.

p 467 | Jouy hangings=toile de Jouy: cloth or canvas for painting on. draught-curtains are used to prevent heat loss from a room, due to drafts or weather. 

p 468 | A misericord (sometimes named mercy seat) is a small wooden shelf on the underside of a folding seat in a church, installed to provide a degree of comfort for a person who has to stand during long periods of prayer. The small shelves were available for use at times when the folding chair was required to be stored folded up, and the person expected to be in an upright position.
"Boston Stump misericord 02" by Immanuel Giel (Own work). Public Domain via Commons License
 p 468 | Agraphia: loss of the ability to write.

p 470 | "this Hohenzollern ... : with the abdication of Wilhelm II in 1918, the Hohenzollern dynasty of German emperors came to an end. The short-lived kingdom of Hanover was annexed by Prussia in 1866, and its last King was indeed dispossessed, but by Kaiser Wilhelm I, not his son. Prussia annexed Alsace-Lorraine from France following its victory in the 1870 war. (Sturrock)


9.16.2015

Sodom and Gomorrah IV pp 447-55

p 447 |  The English name "Normans" (settled in Normandy, France) comes from the French words Normans/Normanz, plural of Normant, modern French normand, which is itself borrowed from Old Low Franconian Nortmann "Northman" or directly from Old Norse Norðmaðr, Latinized as Nortmannus (recorded in Medieval Latin, 9th century) to mean "Norseman, Viking". (Wikipedia)

p 447 | The Tour d'Argent, on the Left Bank, was, and remains, one of the great restaurants of Paris; the Hotel Meurice, on the rue de Rivoli, was one of the city's best in Proust's day.
Boutroux

p 448 | Émile Boutroux (1845-1921) was an eminent 19th century French philosopher of science & religion and an historian of philosophy. He firmly opposed materialism in science. He ... defended the idea that religion & science are compatible...  His work is overshadowed... by that of his student, the more celebrated Henri Bergson. He was elected to the Academy of Moral & Political Sciences in 1898 & to the Académie française in 1912. (Wiki)

Académie française
p 448 | Académie française : The Forty are the "Immortals," or the forty members of the Académie française. Not all the names Brichot cites are actual Academicians. (Storrock)

p 448-9 | Henri Houssaye; Olivier Lefèvre d'Ormesson; Édouard René de Laboulaye: Honoré Le Peletier, comte d'Aunay; M. de Bussière; M. Albaret; M. de Cholet; M. dela Pommeraye

p 449 | Paul Porel (Paul Désire Parfouru, 1843-1917), actor &  theater director, who ran the Odéon on the Left Bank, from 1884 to 1892, hence "Odéonia." He was married to the comedienne Réjane (one of the models for Berma), who, with their son Jacques Porel were friends with Proust. 

p 449 | The Théâtre de l'Odéon is one of France's six national theatres. It is located at 2 rue Corneille in the 6th arrondissement of Paris on the left bank of the Seine, next to the Luxembourg Garden. It was originally built between 1779 and 1782, in the garden of the former Hôtel de Condé, to a Neoclassical design by Charles De Wailly and Marie-Joseph Peyre. The Odéon was originally intended to house the Comédie Française, which, however, preferred to stay at the Théâtre-Français in the Palais Royal. The new theatre was inaugurated by Marie-Antoinette on April 9, 1782.

p 450 | Even though Moncrieff uses "-ast" here, the French has "-arder", which Sturrock suggests could possibly stand for pétarder, meaning "to blow one's top" -- and possibly several other slangy meanings. I think Moncrieff used his translator's licence to indicate that the two men were gossiping about Charlus being gay (i.e., "pederast"). Remember Marcel has already indicated that the people in one's social circle wouldn't mention or notice it, but outsiders would do both.

p 452 | La Chercheuse d'esprit, a comic opera with words by Charles-Simon Favart (1710-92) and music by Jean-Claude Trial (1732-71), first presented in 1741.

p 453 | The Sarmatians were a large confederation of Iranian people during classical antiquity, flourishing from about the 5th century BC to the 4th century AD. They spoke Scythian, an Indo-European language from the Eastern Iranian family.

p 454 | ... the Rohans...: The House of Rohan is a French noble family of viscounts, later dukes and princes, coming from the locality of Rohan in Brittany. 

architrave
p 454 | architrave: the lintel or beam that rests on the capitals of the columns. It is an architectural element in Classical architecture.
Odéon
the lintel or beam that rests on the capitals of the columns. It is an architectural element in Classical architecture.
p 455 | galantine: A galantine is a Polish dish of de-boned stuffed meat, most commonly poultry or fish, that is poached and served cold, coated with aspic.

p 455 | Mme Jeanne Samary: 19th century actress and model (Renoir's lover for a while).


p 455 | Le Capitaine Fracasse by Théophile Gautier: This book was promised to the public in 1836 but finally published in 1863. It is centered on a soldier named Fracasse whose adventures portray bouts of chivalry, courage and a sense of adventure. Gautier places the story in his favourite historical era, that of Louis XIII. It is best described as a typical cloak-and-dagger fairy tale where everyone lives happily ever after.


9.05.2015

Sodom and Gomorrah IV pp 372-97

p 372 | William= German Emperor Wilhelm II. 

p 373 | the Abbaye-aux-Bois: where the celebrated hostess Mme de Récamierher had her salon in Paris, at which, during the 1820s, the great Romantic writers, Chateaubriand among them, read their works in public. 

p 373 | Émilie du Châtelet (1706-49), French mathematician, physicist, and author during the Age of Enlightenment, who had a long liaison with Voltaire. 

p 373 | ... Roman Empress...: possibly Agrippina, wife of Claudius I and mother of Nero, famous for her domineering ways.  (Sturrock) 

p 373 |... like Christ or the Kaiser...: a reference to Christ's injunction in Matthew 10:37; and to Kaiser Wilhelm II's declarations of 1891 that "The will of the King is the supreme law" and that soldiers should obey "without a murmur" if ordered to fire on their own families. (Sturrock) 

p 374 | "You alone did seem ...": "Toi seule me parus ce qu'on cherche toujours." (from Vigny) 

p 378 | Pierre Potain (1825-1901), a prominent Paris medical man, with several literary patients 
(see the Goncourts' Journal); Jean-Martin Charcot (1825-93), greatest of 19th-century neurologists in France, who influenced young Freud when he was a medical student in Paris.

p 380 |the comedies of Pierre de Marivaux (1688-1763) contain numerous aristocrats, but no baronnes. (Sturrock)

p 380 | Eugene Viollet-le-Duc (1814-79) was a champion of Gothic architecture, responsible for the restoration of many medieval buildings. 

p 381 | "Charles-Maurice, Abbé of Perigord"=Talleyrand, both an unbeliever and a Catholic bishop.

p 384 | Vincent d'Indy (1851-1931), composer & teacher, was outspokenly anti-Dreyfus, and also anti-Semitic. The position of Claude Debussy (1862-1918) was more nuanced; ironically, the fiercely partisan disagreements as to the merits or otherwise of his opera, Pelléas et Mélisande , caused it later to be likened to the Dreyfus Affair.

Molière
p 386 | squireen: A person who is half squire, half farmer.  
p 387 | Henri Meilhac (1831-97) wrote plays and comic operas, the best-known of which is La belle Hélène. Brichot is referring to Pascal's famous pensée: "If Cleopatra's nose had been shorter, the whole face of the earth would have been changed." (Sturrock) 
p 393 | Jean-Baptiste Poquelin was the real name of Molière, whose absurd character Argan, in Le malade imaginaire, is the model for Proust's pastiche of medical jargon. Mr. Purgon, a character from the same play.    (Sturrock) 

p 387 | "Uncle, I mean Sarcey": Francisque Sarcey (1827-99) was the leading drama critic of the day, nicknamed "Uncle" for his good sense and middlebrow tastes.   (Sturrock)
 

p 397 | Phineas Taylor Barnum (1810-91), the archetypal American showman and publicist.

9.03.2015

Sodom and Gomorrah IV pp 357-72

p 358 | train transportation: here is a map of French railways, 1882

p 359 | pecus: Latin for "cattle, sheep, livestock."

p 361 | Emmaus: Luke's Gospel says that Jesus appeared (after his death & resurrection), before two of his disciples while they were on the road to Emmaus.

p 361 | The Sorbonne: Higher education reorganized considerably in France from 1885-96; new universal disciplines were created, often on the German model (Storrock).

p 363 | Trilby: A soft felt men's hat with a deeply indented crown and a narrow brim often upturned at the back.  Un smoking is a tuxedo or dinner jacket. Top Hat=>


p 364 | Princesse de Caprarola: a made-up title, character name; Caprarola is a city in central Italy.

p 370 | Abel-Francois Villemain (1790-1870), critic, Sorbonne professor, politician, Academician.

p 371 | douceur de vivre: the sweetness of living. Pococurantism = indifference, nonchalance, lack of concern. 

p 372 | Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord (1754-1838), bishop, statesman, diplomat & political survivor.   

p 372 | Jean François Paul de Gondi (1613-7), Cardinal de Retz, was powerful in both the church and the state; some famous memoirs.  

p 372 | Struggle-for-lifer was an English phrase derived from the Darwinism of the late 19th century.  


Boulanger by Nadar
p 372 | The boulangistes were the supporters of Georges Boulanger (1837-91), a French general and politician, popular during the Third Republic.