The Year of Reading Proust discussion

Within a Budding Grove (In Search of Lost Time, #2)
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Within a Budding Grove, vol. 2 > Through Sunday, 24 Mar.: Within a Budding Grove

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message 1: by Kris, Obsessive Comproustive (last edited Jan 04, 2013 08:16PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kris (krisrabberman) | 136 comments Mod
This thread is for the discussion that will take place through Sunday, 24 Mar. of Within a Budding Grove, to page 332 (to the paragraph beginning: “There is perhaps nothing that gives us so strong an impression...”)


message 2: by Richard (last edited Mar 17, 2013 09:48AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Richard Magahiz (milkfish) | 111 comments
"Rarely nowadays was it in one of those Japanese wrappers that Odette received her familiars, but rather in the bright and billowing silk of a Watteau gown whose flowering foam she made as though to caress where it covered her bosom, and in which she immersed herself, looked solemn, splashed and sported, with such an air of comfort, of a cool skin and long-drawn breath, that she seemed to look on these garments not as something decorative, a mere setting for herself, but as necessary, in the same way as her ‘tub’ or her daily ‘outing,’ to satisfy the requirements of her style of beauty and the niceties of hygiene."

Here's a Watteau peignoir from 1905 perhaps similar to the ones described.


message 3: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
Richard wrote: ""Rarely nowadays was it in one of those Japanese wrappers that Odette received her familiars, but rather in the bright and billowing silk of a Watteau gown whose flowering foam she made as though t..."

Nice...!


ReemK10 (Paper Pills) | 1025 comments Nice. I think Odette thinks of this as the costume that will help her play her role.


message 5: by Martin (new)

Martin Gibbs | 105 comments Richard wrote: ""Rarely nowadays was it in one of those Japanese wrappers that Odette received her familiars, but rather in the bright and billowing silk of a Watteau gown whose flowering foam she made as though t..."

Thank you. I started in on this week's reading last night, and the image does help. I don't know all these fashion terms...


message 6: by Patricia (last edited Mar 18, 2013 12:11PM) (new)

Patricia (goodreadscompatricia2) | 370 comments Some pencil notes I made on my copy of the Budding Girls:
Norpois is such a manipulator:saying women are always ill when their husbands say they were asked to visit the Swanns.

Could Bergotte be Flaubert instead of Anatole France?A.France is greatly admired by Kundera.

"TIME",ever present in the Narrator´s musings:he says we can´t tell earth spins so it happens with time except for a writer who has to speed time in like 20 years.Proust could not be separated from his real social time where Bergson´s philosophy was THE must.

I would star in my ISOLT film either Michelle Pfeiffer or Garbo as Berma.

Caffeine is his favorite high! He´d loved Starbuck´s! Mixed with Coca-Cola nothing can beat it.

"Per viam rectam"(!) Gilberte´s motto.Is "rectam" what I found out in my Lat.online dictionary (the straight part of the intestine)wow! I can´t imagine her so gross unless "she" is not what she seems and she is Gilbert,a guy& then,well, it´s ok.I suppose.

An evening at the Swanns:aren´t they the worst soocial-climbers ever?

The narrator sitting all alone waiting to be taken to the Swanns by the butler:COLOURS are so vivid that he thinks he is in the lab. in Klingsor. This subject of LIGHT IS another time trip for him.BTW what ,where is Klingsor?Sounds Wagnerian COLOURS AND LIGHT are mentioned time and again like in the "claire de lune"like they have healing powers so says the N.

The arrival of Mme.Swann and everything after is reminiscent of a religeous ceremony,where..."enter the High-Priestess tchannnnnn....!!!"

Then the Vinteuil sonata: now we have another element for The Bergsonian trip:MUSIC

Mme.Blatin:she is a disgusting racist plus she thinks she is so good and she is nothing but a patronizing b.ch.Like she says -in my translation- "negro" to an African guy.

Love the way he answers back (my trans.),"Me negro,you camel" :).Awesome! I´d loved to regarder her visage.

Gilbert/e instead is so different and she tries her best to be good and generous with those who aren´t as fortunate as she is.

The Narrator is animistic with furniture and pictures and ornaments,as if they have a life of their own and maybe they do.Some believe that things are "charged" with the emotions of those who have used them before ;)I´d never buy antiques.

Isn´t Odette a case! When she wanted no one to understand she spoke English (!) My! The conversations I´ve heard commuting in the train!

The etiquette handbook is hilarious like he´s given a note,rolled up like a diploma and he doesn´t dare open it and later he finds out it had written on the name of the lady he had to accompany to the dining room.

Last but not least:
WHAT ON EARTH DOES A CALLING CARD WITH THE TIP TURNED MEAN????????????

How do you Mme. with 2 M´s?


message 7: by Fionnuala (last edited Mar 18, 2013 12:54PM) (new)

Fionnuala | 1142 comments Patricia wrote: ".Gilberte's motto, 'Per Viam Rectam'...."

Gilberte's motto, 'Per Viam Rectam' means 'By a straight/direct road' in English, and the narrator underlines that this motto 'contournait' or wound its way around the symbol of the masked knight, ie, didnt follow a straight road!

Ps yes, Klingsor is a necromancer from Parsifal by Wagner who had a laboratory full of magical instruments.


message 8: by Marcelita (last edited Mar 18, 2013 01:27PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Marcelita Swann | 1135 comments "...she was surrounded by Dresden pieces (having a fancy for that kind of porcelain,...'How pretty that is; it reminds me of Dresden flowers.')"
http://www.eliteauction.com/catalogue...


Richard Magahiz (milkfish) | 111 comments Patricia wrote: "WHAT ON EARTH DOES A CALLING CARD WITH THE TIP TURNED MEAN????????????"

The code etiquette is perhaps similar to what the Victorians understood:
A folded top left corner meant the visitor had come in person; this corner unfolded meant a servant was sent.

A folded bottom left corner signified a farewell

A folded top right corner meant congratulations

A folded bottom right corner expressed condolence.



ReemK10 (Paper Pills) | 1025 comments Marcelita wrote: ""...she was surrounded by Dresden pieces (having a fancy for that kind of porcelain,...'How pretty that is; it reminds me of Dresden flowers.')"
http://www.eliteauction.com/catalogue......"


lovely, thanks Marcelita.


message 11: by J.A. (last edited Mar 18, 2013 08:54PM) (new)

J.A. Pak Jaye wrote: Lots of people look down on fashion but in its historical context it can say so much about a period or a person.

This is especially true for women during the fin de siecle. Up until that time, women wore very restrictive clothing. With designs by Paul Poiret (who's credited for freeing women from corsets), and later Chanel, women were able to wear clothing that allowed them to be more mobile. It was interesting to hear Odette say she liked to wear sweaters even though she didn't play golf. I think both Chanel and Schiaparelli made knitwear very popular in the 20s. So was Odette very fashion-forward?

Here's a link to view some of Poiret's fab designs: http://art-elegant4u.blogspot.com/200...


message 12: by Eugene (new)

Eugene | 479 comments Marcel Proust wrote "I said also: "I shall probably never see you again," and said it while continuing to avoid showing a coldness which she might think feigned, and the words, as I wrote them, made me weep because I felt that they expressed not what I should have liked to believe but what was probably going to happen. ML p. 259

Let me show a coldness and mention the boy narrator and the adult narrator speaking in the same sentence.

O Love to me as a 16 year old, pomade in my hair, pimples on my face, breaking up with Nancy, the dented honor, the sacrifice, the sweetness of tears...so strong the memory, even now, it makes me cringe when I read about N and Gilberte; I look up from the book to feign a searching smile at no one in particular, maybe to me, but the smile doesn't work, it feels like it's someone else's.

I was silly, and I am still silly.


message 13: by Martin (new)

Martin Gibbs | 105 comments Eugene wrote: "Marcel Proust wrote "I said also: "I shall probably never see you again," and said it while continuing to avoid showing a coldness which she might think feigned, and the words, as I wrote them, ..."

Wonderful, Eugene.


message 14: by Elizabeth (last edited Mar 19, 2013 07:41AM) (new)

Elizabeth | 365 comments Jaye: important note; Odette says she eschews golf, that so many of her women friends play, so she will
not have an excuse "for going about in sweaters, as they do."
Re fashion in general: in periods where women have increased status and power (e.g. the 1940s and 1980s), shoulder pads are fashionable. In periods of no or low status (1890s) their shoulders are practically nonexistent.


message 15: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth | 365 comments Forgot this; Moncrieff doesnt italicize "sweaters" but the Moncrieff/Kilmartin/Enright translation I'm reading does. This implies to me that she says the word in English.


message 16: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala | 1142 comments Elizabeth wrote: "Forgot this; Moncrieff doesnt italicize "sweaters" but the Moncrieff/Kilmartin/Enright translation I'm reading does. This implies to me that she says the word in English."

Odette does say the word in English, and I understood that on no account would she wear a sweater. Her fashion choices, even though innovative, seem to deliberately reflect the past, play with historical allusions, as if she likes the prestige associated with certain periods in history.


message 17: by Marcelita (last edited Mar 19, 2013 08:43AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Marcelita Swann | 1135 comments Odette is the antithesis of Mrs. Selma Schubart, Stieglitz’s flamboyant youngest sister, Selma, wearing both a Fortuny and a "sweater."
http://metmuseum.org/collections/sear...


message 18: by Jocelyne (new) - added it

Jocelyne Lebon | 745 comments I love the link to the Dresden pieces!


message 19: by Jocelyne (last edited Mar 19, 2013 09:48AM) (new) - added it

Jocelyne Lebon | 745 comments Jaye wrote: "I loved reading about Odette's clothes this morning. Lots of people look down on fashion but in its historical context it can say so much about a period or a person. That Odette kept clothes that h..."

I love reading about Odette's clothing too; she is quite the fashion plate and yes, a trend-setter too. The illustrations posted certainly add texture,no pun intended, to descriptions. The Paul Poiret is such a great site! Thank you for that, J.A.


message 20: by Jocelyne (last edited Mar 19, 2013 09:43AM) (new) - added it

Jocelyne Lebon | 745 comments Aren't we in Balbec yet? I have gone through very savant, elaborate and impressive computations to figure out the pagination of my edition in reference to the one posted on the reading schedule, but all it confirmed was that my ineptitude in that arena is beyond redemption. I still have no clue. I thought we were in Balbec. Does anybody know the pagination for the Moncrieff/Kilmartin 3 volume edition? Help!!!


message 21: by J.A. (last edited Mar 19, 2013 10:59AM) (new)

J.A. Pak Elizabeth wrote: Jaye: important note; Odette says she eschews golf, that so many of her women friends play, so she will
not have an excuse "for going about in sweaters, as they do."


It was me and not Jaye who misread that. In the Moncrieff version, it says, "So I should have no excuse for going about, as they do, in sweaters." I read the "should" in the opposite way, that she should have no excuse for wearing sweaters but does. Looking at the original (Je n'aurais aucune excuse à être comme elles, vêtues de sweaters), it's more clear that she doesn't wear sweaters. No doubt she will in the 20s. ;)


message 22: by Nick (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nick Wellings | 322 comments I have a Penguin classics 3 volume set, I can try and have a look at pagination, if they are the same as yours of course, Jocelyne!


message 23: by Patricia (last edited Mar 19, 2013 11:11AM) (new)

Patricia (goodreadscompatricia2) | 370 comments Wow I am learning so much,thank you everybody for your answers and links.
I enjoy so much learning about things I didn´t even know ever existed like the CARD FOLDING!I am going to drive all my friends nuts with that they´ll never know what hit them SPECIALLY ONE! THIS GUY IS JUST AS SNOBBISH AS PROUST WITHOUT THE TALENT!!! :) :)I just put up with him because he is such an old friend like you do with your old farting dog.

I consider fashion an art and as such according to my guru on arts,Arnold Hauser(*),I think it represents the culture of the time when the object was produced.It also says much about the characters like for e.g. the *budding girls*,they are so cool with their sports clothes,sweaters-in argie.spanish we also say sweaters- I can even see a slight suntan on their faces.Instead Odette feels like full of dust and moss.
(*) Arnold Hauser doesn´t say anything about fashion but I have transported his idea


message 24: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (goodreadscompatricia2) | 370 comments http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/hauser.htm

ARNOLD HAUSER LINK

He is worth reading.


message 25: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Pak Jocelyne, this week's reading just finishes with the beginning of the Balbec section. Next week's reading begins with the paragraph that starts "There is perhaps nothing that gives us so strong an impression of the reality of the external world as the difference in the positions...", I think. I'm actually following the French timetable so I might be wrong.


message 26: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
Jonathan wrote: "This question doesn't relate to this section I'm aware, but if I ask it in a more general thread, I may face spoilers from later in the novel: At the point we are at, has it been revealed in any wa..."

So far I am not aware that it has been mentioned.


message 27: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
On Odette's clothes, my sense is that Poiret's designs are of somewhat more modern design, and that the posts the Marcelita put in last week's thread on Redfern and Rauthnitz (mentioned in the book), or Richard (the Watteau style) in this weeks correspond better to what Odette is wearing.

And I agree with Fionnuala in that Odette likes to make historical references with her clothes but also, as we saw in Un amour de Swann, with furniture. Even if she got the latter wrong to Swann's exasperation.


message 28: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala | 1142 comments Jonathan wrote: "This question doesn't relate to this section I'm aware, but if I ask it in a more general thread, I may face spoilers from later in the novel: At the point we are at, has it been revealed in any wa..."

Because we know that Proust's mother's family were Jewish, we fall into the trap of thinking the Narrator's was too but I'm fairly certain there has been no such information shared so far. We have to wonder about the maternal grandfather's particular awareness of all things Jewish though. What was that about, we wonder?

Now I see that you've already answered this, Kalliope...


message 29: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala | 1142 comments I have just finished Autour de Mme Swann and I'm struck by how it mirrors the end of the Nom de Pays section: Odette out walking, spreading the perfume of her violets, the heady atmosphere of her salon around her as she moves among her courtiers like some royal personage....we can't but applaud Odette!


message 30: by Eugene (last edited Mar 19, 2013 09:18PM) (new)

Eugene | 479 comments @Martin

Thank you.

Proust writes well on the arts, aesthetics seem to make words and sentences flow easily from his pen--so pleasant after reading pages of contingent, parenthetical and digressive lovelorn manipulations which are a separate beauty: Swann learns from Vinteuil's sonata, the Narrator tells you why he finds writing by Bergotte so enjoyable, the general good regard of Berma and now the couturier's art as exemplified by lovely descriptions of the way Mme. Swann dresses--all more or less simply written.

"One felt that she did not dress simply for the comfort or the adornment of her body; she was surrounded by her garments as by the delicate and spiritualised machinery of a whole civilization." ML

His art meets the art of which he speaks.


message 31: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala | 1142 comments Eugene wrote: "...."....the delicate and spiritualised machinery of a whole civilization."
His art meets the art of which he speaks."


Well said, Eugène. I am a little in awe of the complex 'machinery' of that 'whole civilization', a civilization which produced Proust and his art too. But we know how quickly it was all dismantled..

(I know I shouldn't focus on little, unimportant details but the narrator mentions his aunts, Céline and Victoire in relation to the Legrandin family early in the Balbec section. Back in the Combray section, he talked of two aunts, sisters of his grandmother, Céline and Flora. Perhaps there were more?)


message 32: by Marcelita (last edited Mar 20, 2013 08:57AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Marcelita Swann | 1135 comments J.A. wrote: "Jaye wrote: Lots of people look down on fashion but in its historical context it can say so much about a period or a person.

This is especially true for women during the fin de siecle. Up until ..."


Only for Poiret fanatics...

Video of Poiret and his dresses @ :55.
http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=Dajzck....

The Costume Institute, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Poiret: King of Fashion" in 2007
http://www.style.com/trendsshopping/s...#

Audio from the show, by Harold Koda, Curator
http://www.metmuseum.org/metmedia/aud...

Video "animations, which show the way in which some of Poiret’s dresses are constructed through very minimalistic means, yet reaching highly complex outcomes."
https://vimeo.com/5613382

Met's Press Release
http://www.metmuseum.org/about-the-mu...
Met's holdings
http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/poir...

Sad endings...
Hotel Drouot Auction house with clothes and accessories from the wardrobe of Denise Boulet-Poiret.
http://www.mediafaxfoto.ro/Preview.as...


message 33: by Fionnuala (last edited Mar 20, 2013 04:38AM) (new)

Fionnuala | 1142 comments Re Odette and her style: I'm reading Le Lys Rouge by Anatole France (perhaps the model for Bergotte) on Kalliope's recommendation. The book is set in 1896, around the same time as this part of the Recherche and one of the characters gives a long speech about fashion in which he says that while women dress better at this time than ever before, they must not look like a parcel in fancy wrapping, that it all hinges on the profile of their outfit and the rhythm of their carriage. I immediately thought of Odette. He goes on to say: "Je ne puis songer à une femme qui prend soin de se parer chaque jour, sans méditer la grande leçon qu'elle donne aux artistes. Elle s'habille et se coiffe pour peu d'heures, et c'est un soin qui n'est pas perdu. Nous devons, comme elle, orner la vie sans penser à l'avenir. Peindre, sculpter, écrire pour la postérité n'est que la sottise et l'orgueil." Anatole France seems to be saying that although the effort involved in dressing well is great, and the effect of short duration, it is nevertheless worthwhile. That artists and writers shouldn't worry if their art is equally ephemeral.
The characters go on to discuss 'un peignoir mauve semé de fleurs d'argent', again, similar to something of Odette's


Richard Magahiz (milkfish) | 111 comments My current impressions at the end of this long first section: This obstinate refusal by the narrator to have anything to do with Gilberte is infantile and distressing, not because of any great merit that has been portrayed in the character of the girl, but because it seems fundamentally uncivil. It might be that their previous relationship was more like a shared neurosis than actual affection, but I don't like to see it end in this fashion. It is all described without any sense of a later enlightenment on the part of the narrator, which makes it all the more effective.


message 35: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
Fionnuala, on your comments #32 & 36 above.

You made me reread the ending of Un amour de Swann, and I this rereading I was struck by the older Narrator's nostalgic comments on the more elegant way of dressing of earlier times, versus the vulgarity of contemporary fashions.

I read Le lys before Proust and do not recall the wonderful passage on clothing you are quoting.

Interesting France's comments on artists worrying about posterity. The Narrator expresses the opposite views.


message 36: by Fionnuala (last edited Mar 20, 2013 05:56AM) (new)

Fionnuala | 1142 comments Kalliope wrote: "Fionnuala, on your comments #32 & 36 above.

You made me reread the ending of Un amour de Swann, and I this rereading I was struck by the older Narrator's nostalgic comments on the more elegant wa..."


Le Lys is such a good parallel reading experience for La Recherche. I feel like I'm getting a more panoramic vision of the Paris of the time than Proust gives, he preffering a closer focus.
I suspect France was only playing with that idea about posterity not mattering. He goes on to say, regarding Chulotte, the poet, that although he wrote his poems on scraps of cigarette paper, he kept them all safe.


message 37: by Jocelyne (new) - added it

Jocelyne Lebon | 745 comments Nick wrote: "I have a Penguin classics 3 volume set, I can try and have a look at pagination, if they are the same as yours of course, Jocelyne!"

Oh, thanks, Nick. In my Vintage edition, WBG starts on page 463 and ends on 1018 (not including the notes, addenda..)


message 38: by Jocelyne (new) - added it

Jocelyne Lebon | 745 comments J.A. wrote: "Jocelyne, this week's reading just finishes with the beginning of the Balbec section. Next week's reading begins with the paragraph that starts "There is perhaps nothing that gives us so strong an ..."

Thanks J.A. This helps a bit.


message 39: by Jocelyne (new) - added it

Jocelyne Lebon | 745 comments Fionnuala wrote: "Kalliope wrote: "Fionnuala, on your comments #32 & 36 above.

You made me reread the ending of Un amour de Swann, and I this rereading I was struck by the older Narrator's nostalgic comments on th..."



Now I feel like reading Le Lys too. The comments on fashion by the author or the narrator could apply to today's fashion or lack thereof too. I wonder what he would say about what is now the universal uniform: jeans and Tshirt. Even "Les habits du dimanche", or Sunday's best clothes sounds like such a quaint notion.


message 40: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala | 1142 comments Jocelyne wrote: "Now I feel like reading Le Lys too. The comments on fashion by the author or the narrator could apply to today's fashion or lack thereof too. I wonder what he would say about what is now the universal uniform: jeans and Tshirt. Even "Les habits du dimanche", or Sunday's best clothes sounds like such a quaint notion."

We could have such a lively debate about this subject, Jocelyne.
Was Odette dressing for a part, like La Berma?
Is fashion art?
Should women dress to please men?
Can people be truly free if they are obliged to wear complex uniforms?
How important is it to express yourself through your clothes?
Beauty v utility
What is beauty?
We could have an endless debate....


message 41: by Jocelyne (new) - added it

Jocelyne Lebon | 745 comments So true. We could indeed have an endless debate about the topic. In my travels abroad I sometimes bemoan the fact that all countries are adopting America's casual wear and I think that India, for instance, would lose some of its soul if all women gave up the sari for jeans. Yet at the same time, I must acknowledge, when I see them breaking and carrying stones on the side of the road, that they would be more comfortable in jeans.
I was recently in Bhutan where they all have to wear the traditional dress in public office, like schools... Once work is over, they can't wait to switch to something more comfortable, like jeans!
I love to see women dress up. I think they had beauty to their surroundings. Mind you, I don't practice what I preach. I am happy in sweats!


Marcelita Swann | 1135 comments I always thought of Odette as an artist, within the Parisian world of the demimonde ...a 'performance artist' if you will.

Poiret was definitely theatrical in designing for both extremes in society.
"The celebrated Liane de Pougy, one of the last of the grandes horizontales, wrote movingly of Poiret's designs in her memoir. Among his French upper-crust clients there were there Countess Greffulhe (muse of Marcel Proust), who came to Poiret for dress of gold, trimmed with sable, to wear to her daughter's wedding, and the Duchesse de Gramont…

http://books.google.com/books?id=5TJm...


message 43: by Jocelyne (new) - added it

Jocelyne Lebon | 745 comments This discussion reinforces for me the emphasis on the visual in Proust's work and the small role that the olfactory plays by comparison. I have to assume that Odette had quite a "perfume wardrobe" and yet he rarely mentions it, except on a few occasions if I remember correctly.


message 44: by Marcus (new) - added it

Marcus | 143 comments So, the relationship between the Narrator and Odette starts to feel like the elephant in the room...I'd felt it before - the unspoken, almost secretive nature of it - then when I read (ML 261) that Odette had trashed, as now out of fashion, her coroneted notepaper, I wondered if that was the notepaper that Gilberte had used to write to the Narrator and if so, just how intwined these loves are. Of course, the Narrator's anguished love for G mirrors Swann's for Odette but the Narrator crosses the generation gap and seems to also love (at least admire) Odette in the way Swann does. How does she (O) feel about him, the Narrator, who visits her when G isn't there. Flattered? Are we in toy boy territory??


message 45: by Eugene (new)

Eugene | 479 comments At first I had thought that because Proust was prone to ill health, then I thought that because love (jealousy), as some think, is a sickness that afflicted Swann and later the Narrator and I finally read the simile, I question, used in the description of a very healthy Mme. Swann (in love with life) that likens a thing, a person (perhaps his or her thought), a situation or an aspect of it to "an invalid, a convalescent, a neurasthenic," in other words to someone in ill health.

"...as to an invalid..." ML p.291

Proust uses the sickness simile frequently; I'd estimate that I've read variations of it 20 or 30 times in this volume and the last. I wonder if anybody has ideas about his usage of it.

He is such a clever, meticulous writer that I don't think that he does it for no purpose, that he errs, but maybe I'm wrong.


ReemK10 (Paper Pills) | 1025 comments Marcus wrote: "So, the relationship between the Narrator and Odette starts to feel like the elephant in the room...I'd felt it before - the unspoken, almost secretive nature of it - then when I read (ML 261) tha..."

I think Proust just wants to shows us love from all angles.


message 47: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (last edited Mar 22, 2013 04:54AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
There is this book on fashion through time. I have not read it yet, but it is quite well known: Seeing Through Clothes


message 48: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
I have enjoyed the description of white around Mme Swann, her clothes, her furs, her salon, her flowers (brought from Combray) and the snow of the time of year. And then with references to Easter and using the white, the Narrator is evoking images of virginity and the Annunciation... And yet, this section comes not many pages after the Narrator had not hesitated to remind us of her past as a cocotte.


message 49: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala | 1142 comments Kalliope wrote: "I have enjoyed the description of white around Mme Swann, her clothes, her furs, her salon, her flowers (brought from Combray) and the snow of the time of year. And then with references to Easter and using the white, the Narrator is evoking images of virginity and the Annunciation... And yet, this section comes not many pages after the Narrator had not hesitated to remind us of her past as a cocotte. "

Yes, I had also been thinking of the Easter theme, and the flowers associated with it, that has been weaving in and out of the narrative since the beginning like landmarks on a train journey and, in desperation to find a point of view not already taken by others for my review of Du Côté, that's what I've finally chosen. It's still in the making though..


Odette has served so many purposes in the story so far that Proust using her to evoke images of purity and virginity shouldn't surprise us. I had thought that once Gilberte entered the story, that Odette's purpose was fulfilled. But it is the opposite...


message 50: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
Fionnuala wrote: "Kalliope wrote: "I have enjoyed the description of white around Mme Swann, her clothes, her furs, her salon, her flowers (brought from Combray) and the snow of the time of year. And then with refe..."

I am looking forward to your expanding this theme... And we are in the right time of year...!!

And yes, Odette is the center of this Autour de Mme Swann.


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