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Sodom and Gomorrah (In Search of Lost Time, #4)
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Sodom and Gomorrah, vol. 4 > Through Sunday, 4 Aug.: Sodom and Gomorrah

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message 1: by Jason (last edited Jan 04, 2013 08:23PM) (new) - added it

Jason (ancatdubh2) This thread is for the discussion that will take place through Sunday, 4 Aug. of Sodom and Gomorrah, to page 407 (to the paragraph beginning: “The faithful entered the drawing room...”)


message 2: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
Transfering here the photos of Céleste Albaret.

Jocelyne wrote: "I noted the lovely tribute to Céleste Albaret. Not only does Proust uses her real name but cites her phrase "Ce sont des vies données." I would love to know what Céleste Albaret thought of the the..."

I am not there yet, but this sounds like Proust himself is showing up in the book himself, again.

Here are two photos of Céleste. In one she is receiving the Croix des Arts.







·Karen· (kmoll) | 318 comments Quick note for those reading en français: the end of this week's reading is somewhat hidden in the middle of a paragraph. "Les fidèles entrèrent."


message 4: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
·Karen· wrote: "Quick note for those reading en français: the end of this week's reading is somewhat hidden in the middle of a paragraph. "Les fidèles entrèrent.""

This is exactly what I was doing it right now... looking for the next breaks.. for the Flammarion edition, it is in page 61 of the second volume... I'm looking for the rest.


·Karen· (kmoll) | 318 comments By the way, wasn't it the cousin who was having an affair with an actress? Now suddenly it's Bloch's sister? Another editing glitsch.


message 6: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
·Karen· wrote: "By the way, wasn't it the cousin who was having an affair with an actress? Now suddenly it's Bloch's sister? Another editing glitsch."

Completely right, Karen.. in my edition, Flammarion, it is the cousin in page 289 and in 333 is now Bloch's sister.

Well caught...!


message 7: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
Another quote from Halévy's La juive.

We had already encountered this opera with Saint-Loup and Rachel. It is from an aria that the sentence "Rachel quand du Seigneur.." originates.

O Dieu de nos pères,
Parmi nous descends,
Cache nos mystères
A l'oeil des méchants.



message 8: by Marcelita (new)

Marcelita Swann | 1135 comments Kalliope wrote: "Another quote from Halévy's La juive.

We had already encountered this opera with Saint-Loup and Rachel. It is from an aria that the sentence "Rachel quand du Seigneur.." originates.
O Dieu de..."


I found this recording of Enrico Caruso singing:
http://pinterest.com/pin/260997740876...


message 9: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
Marcelita wrote: "I found this recording of Enrico Caruso singing:.."

Yes, a couple of recordings were posted when this reference first came up.. I think it was Richard and I who posted these...


message 10: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
I laughed when reading -- and hearing-- the dialogue (almost a monologue) of Céleste and the ploumissou of the Narrator.

Did she really treat him like this?.

The notes say that her suggestion that the verses in the poem by Saint-Léger Léger (Saint-John Perse) were "devinettes" was a true anecdote.

The reader in my audio version has a hard time trying not to laugh in this section.


message 11: by Fionnuala (last edited Jul 28, 2013 08:57AM) (new)

Fionnuala | 1142 comments I would imagine that all of the descriptions of the sisters' conversation are fairly accurate. I'm in awe of the way he can conjure up the geography, the very geoplogy of their home place in every aspect of their demeanour.

When speaking about Celeste's amazing turns of phrase and her modesty with regard to her own gifts, the narrator says of the sisters, Elles ne liront jamais de livres, mais n'en feront jamais non plus.
He didn't anticipate that Celeste would one day write her own version of his story...


message 12: by Marcelita (last edited Jul 30, 2013 06:27PM) (new)

Marcelita Swann | 1135 comments Kalliope wrote: "Transfering here the photos of Céleste Albaret.

Jocelyne wrote: "I noted the lovely tribute to Céleste Albaret. Not only does Proust uses her real name but cites her phrase "Ce sont des vies donn..."


The last days...Paris auction of Celeste's personal items on December 16, 2008.
The poem:
http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/e...
Marcel's lock of hair, given to her by Robert:
http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/e...

Before the auction:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pi...
After the auction:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pi...

Falsehoods seem to surround Proust. Here is one from the article:
"'Celeste Albaret is a very well known name in the literary world,' said Plantureux, whose own 10-year-old daughter Celeste also attended the sale. 'Proust didn’t like women, and these are among the only letters he wrote to a woman,' he said."


message 13: by Marcelita (last edited Jul 28, 2013 08:33PM) (new)

Marcelita Swann | 1135 comments Kalliope wrote: "Marcelita wrote: "I found this recording of Enrico Caruso singing:.."

Yes, a couple of recordings were posted when this reference first came up.. I think it was Richard and I who posted these..."


Oh, yes, I found them in the March 13th posts. I listened to/watched both Neil Schicoff and Roberto Alagna. Thank you! Now, I wonder what else I have missed....


message 14: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala | 1142 comments Marcelita wrote: "The last days...Paris auction of Celeste's personal items on December 16, 2008.
The poem:
http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/e..."


Thank you for posting these links, Marcelita, they are among the most interesting to have been posted on these discussion pages yet.
The photograph of Celeste and Marie Gineste is intriguing in light of this week's reading. Also the poem Proust wrote for Celeste, plus the various notes he scribbled on odd, coffee-stained scraps of paper in the final days.
Given how young she must have been when she started to work for him in 1914 or so, do we presume that she couldn't have been at the Grand Hotel in Cabourg working for some 'dame étrangère' when he himself was younger? So the description of Celeste and her sister inserted into the text of Gomorrhe dates from when she began to work for him in Paris rather than from his memories of holidays spent along the coast of Normandy?
The photo of Proust as a child 'que fourrures et dentelles, comme jamais prince n'a eus' is also visible in the link to Sothebys.


message 15: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
Fionnuala wrote: "Marcelita wrote: " So the description of Celeste and her sister inserted into the text of Gomorrhe dates from when she began to work for him in Paris rather than from his memories of holidays spent along the coast of Normandy?
..."


Yes, given that the novel ended up being twice the length intended, and that the volume Du côté de chez Swann is the only one published before the war, this means that more than half of what was published in the remaining volumes were written from the start of the war until his death.

So, we can expect chronological gaps and changes in the aesthetic choices.

Apart from the war, 1914 is also the year when Agostinelli died. From then onwards Proust's social life and outings decreased dramatically and he devoted most of his time to writing.


message 16: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
Marcelita wrote: "Kalliope wrote: "Transfering here the photos of Céleste Albaret.

Jocelyne wrote: "I noted the lovely tribute to Céleste Albaret. Not only does Proust uses her real name but cites her phrase "Ce s..."


Yes, these look great, in particular the Sotheby's collection... I will have to set aside a bit of time to look through these carefully. Thank you Marcelita.


message 17: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala | 1142 comments I'm picking up a new theme, the theme of death and the after-life, in these first pages of Sodome et Gomorrhe II. The narrator speaks of our dreams of paradise, of what we hope may await us after death but he seems to know already that such dreams will never be realised, that paradise itself is 'perdu' and that we would in any case be lost if we were ever to arrive in such a place:
On rêve beaucoup du paradis ou plutôt de nombreux paradis successifs mais ce sont tous, bien avant qu'on ne meure, des paradis perdu, et où l'on se sentirait perdu

Then a few pages later, he casually mentions Swann's death in relation to an entirely different and very banal matter, whether Princess Whatever might or might not have visited Mme Verdurin. We are left to wonder simply what section of the narrative Swann now belongs in, and not that there has been a tragedy.


message 18: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
Fionnuala wrote: "I'm picking up a new theme, the theme of death and the after-life, in these first pages of Sodome et Gomorrhe II. The narrator speaks of our dreams of paradise, of what we hope may await us after d..."

Yes, I have now arrived at the part where Swann's death is mentioned. Rather extraordinary way to let the reader know.

Following your theme, I was struck, and intrigued, by the section on the jeune fille non identifiée, and the "lassitude" of the Narrator.... On peut quelquefois retrouver un être, mais non abolir le temps and later Le repos éternel a déjà mis des intervalles où 'on ne peut sortir, ni parler.


message 19: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
So, D'Indy and Debussy were anti-Dreyfusistes...

Debussy had died in 1918, before this volume was published, but D'Indy lived longer than Proust.


message 20: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
My notes say that the long section on etymology is related to the studies by Auguste Longnon which began to get published from 1920 onwards although Proust corresponded with him since 1919.

This is another of the newer parts.

From what Tadié has written on the genealogy of the work, about 60% of the later volumes was constituted by the later additions. They were about 1000 pages but became 2500.


message 21: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala | 1142 comments Kalliope wrote: "....This is another of the newer parts."

I've just finished reading the long speech by Brichot on etymology, Kalliope and I can see how it might have been inserted in the text after the main body had been written. Then I began to imagine Proust lying in his bed thinking up this speech, batting the various theories about the origins of Normandy place-names back and forth in his head, while consulting Longnon and possibly other sources as well. I think he must have enjoyed writing Brichot's speech very much, knowing how much importance he attached to both names and place-names. And let's not forget Brichot's spectacles which semblaient...regarder elles-mêmes avec une attention soutenue et une fixité extraordinaire

Kalliope wrote: "Following your theme, I was struck, and intrigued, by the section on the jeune fille non identifiée, and the "lassitude" of the Narrator.... On peut quelquefois retrouver un être, mais non abolir le temps and later Le repos éternel a déjà mis des intervalles où 'on ne peut sortir, ni parler.

Yes, I think these references to the passing of time and the impossibility of reliving experiences are going to become more and more frequent.

With reference to the Princesse Sherbatoff, I'd just remarked yesterday how the narrator can be such a snob about how he analyses the staff in the hotel and then today I find him satirising himself by informing us that he thought the lady who was reading La Revue des Deux Mondes was a tenancière de maison publique but that as soon as he discovered her name and her status, his notion of her changed completely.


message 22: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (last edited Jul 30, 2013 07:07AM) (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
Fionnuala wrote: "With reference to the Princesse Sherbatoff.."

I also read this passage as another example of how fascinated the Narrator is with border lines that are supposed to define beings, whether these are the male/female traits, or the grande-dame/cocotte (or entremetteuse). We saw that fascination with Odette and also with one of the Princesses in the first Balbec section earlier in the novel.

I also do not see the Narrator as a snob… He dislikes snobs, whether these are from the high classes or the lower ones…We have seen him ridiculing Charlus, la Duchesse etc… and then with the lower classes he picks on them when they become pretentious…In the satirical sections I am seeing a lot of Molière who made fun of the various “échelons” and professions (medicine in particular again both in Molière and Proust).


message 23: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala | 1142 comments Kalliope wrote: "I also do not see the Narrator as a snob… He dislikes snobs, whether these are from the high classes or the lower ones…."

It was a few of his remarks about the 'lift' that made me bristle and castigate him as a snob but in general, I agree that, like in Molière's comedies, everyone becomes a victim of the narrator's satire at some point.

Your remark about 'borderlines' is very perceptive and very to the point for this volume in particular, which, after all started off with an analysis the different methods of fertilisation to be found in the plant world, including auto fertilisation.


message 24: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
Fionnuala wrote: "It was a few of his remarks about the 'lift' that made me..."

Vous pensez!!!!.. I think I am going to incorporate that expresion into my speech...

And yes, the borderlines, and his choice of the word "inverti"... very interesting...


·Karen· (kmoll) | 318 comments The twin tomato heads had me laugh out loud! And then M. Bernard with a black eye - aha!


message 26: by Martin (new)

Martin Gibbs | 105 comments ·Karen· wrote: "The twin tomato heads had me laugh out loud! And then M. Bernard with a black eye - aha!"

Same here! While the analogy was perfect for Tomato 1 and Tomato 2, I couldn't help but picture two giant tomatoes sitting in a train car, each with a little green tassel on the crown of his head!


message 27: by Marcelita (last edited Nov 02, 2013 09:30PM) (new)

Marcelita Swann | 1135 comments David Richardson's "Tomato Twin no. 1" Not Smiling

and "Tomato Twin no. 2" Smiling


RESEMBLANCE: THE PORTRAITS & ETC (SPOILER ALERT)
http://resemblancetheportraits.blogsp...


message 28: by Eugene (last edited Jul 30, 2013 10:55PM) (new)

Eugene | 479 comments Fionnuala wrote: With reference to the Princesse Sherbatoff...the lady who was reading La Revue des Deux Mondes was a tenancière de maison publique but that as soon as he discovered her name and her status, his notion of her changed completely.

Here is the ML translation apropos the moment of his recognition:

I recognized her immediately; this woman who might have forfeited her social position but was nevertheless of exalted birth, who in any event was the pearl of a salon such as the Verdurins', was the lady whom, on the same train, I had put down two days earlier as possibly the keeper of a brothel. Her social personality, which had been so doubtful, became clear to me as soon as I learned her name... p. 394

I don't see him satirizing himself in this fragment quoted or that leading up and much less following from it. Proust seems to insure that the Narrator is a victim of snobbery (a 'snob') as he changes his view of her when he learns of her "social personality", she still looks the same: "...massive face, old, ugly and a masculine expression..."--that is no matter for me now, that's not the point of this comment.

This incident is a microcosm of a larger plan. What happens here is the younger Narrator changes his view when he learns something. The younger Narrator's topic is the world around him: he finds it beautiful or he finds it vulgar and usually something in between; the older Narrator's topic is the younger Narrator. And as said before the signal in narrative voice change from young to old and back again is direct: we are told in so many words, or stylistic: Proust uses a different syntax, etc. The younger Narrator's saving grace (Proust's) is the older Narrator who is never a 'snob' and is who the sometimes 'snobbish' younger Narrator will be. We can breathe easy; by the split narration we know that all will end well and the younger version of the Narrator can be as 'snobbish', manipulative and lying, as he is, but he will change, things will get better. "Whew...". Apart from time, sex, social personalities, etc., this is a story about the changes that occur from learning or growing up.

---

I dislike the use of the word "snob", I would rather investigate 'the vulgar' as it is a pole of beauty.


message 29: by Martin (last edited Jul 31, 2013 05:26AM) (new)

Martin Gibbs | 105 comments Marcelita wrote: "David Richardson's "Tomato Twin no. 1" Not Smiling

and "Tomato Twin no. 2" Smiling


RESEMBLANCE: THE PORTRAITS & ETC (SPOILER ALERT)
http://resemblancetheportraits.blogsp..."


Thank you :) Funny how these (and some of the others on the site) match the image in my mind's eye.... albeit a little over-the-top. Still, that works in its own way, too.


message 30: by Eugene (last edited Jul 31, 2013 05:58AM) (new)

Eugene | 479 comments I suspect the reason (not that I'm not one ;-) that I dislike the use of the word "snob" is that 'snobs' use it to describe others. One could say, using it makes you a 'snob'.

It is a lovely yet dangerous word as it describes its user in equal amounts to whom is described by it.


message 31: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (last edited Jul 31, 2013 06:36AM) (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
Kalliope wrote: "In the satirical sections I am seeing a lot of Molière who made fun of the various “échelons” and professions (medicine in particular again both in Molière and Proust). ..."

So, this section seems like a tribute to Molière. Apart from the two tomatoes-quiproquo and the remarks on the medical profession, we have:

".. qu'eût put le faire M. Purgon lui-même de moliéresque mémoire" (F p50) and

"Il est tombé de la neurasthénie a la philologie, comme eût dit mon bon maître Pocquelin".

And is my rose as my tribute to Jean-Baptiste Pocquelin, Molière.





message 32: by Marcelita (last edited Jul 31, 2013 08:13AM) (new)

Marcelita Swann | 1135 comments Whenever I hear "Molière," I find myself smiling and remembering maybe the most charming scene in the novel.

"...I had very soon formed a mutual bond of friendship, as strong as it was pure, with these two young persons, Mlle Marie Gineste and Mme Céleste Albaret. [...] With a familiarity which I reproduce verbatim, notwithstanding the eulogies (which I set down here in praise not of myself but of the strange genius of Céleste) ... while I dipped croissants in my milk, Céleste would say to me:

'Oh! little black devil with raven hair, oh deep-eyed mischief! I don't know what your mother was thinking of when she made you, you're just like a bird. Look, Marie, wouldn't you say he was preening his feathers, and the supple way he turns his head right around, he looks so light, you'd think he was just learning to fly. [...] Look, his hair's standing on end, puffing out with rage like a bird's feathers. Poor feather-pether! [...] Oh, what a bag of tricks! Oh, the soft talk, the deceitfulness! Ah, rogue among rouges, churl of churls! Ah, Molière!' (This was the only writer's name she knew, but she applied it to me, meaning thereby a person who was capable both of writing plays and of acting them.)" MP pp 332-334.



Céleste Albaret


message 33: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
Marcelita wrote: "Whenever I hear "Molière," I find myself smiling and remembering maybe the most charming scene in the novel.

"...I had very soon formed a mutual bond of friendship, as strong as it was pure, with ..."


Yes, that is another funny example... in particular because then he goes on to say that the sister did not know who Molière was...


message 34: by Marcelita (new)

Marcelita Swann | 1135 comments Kalliope wrote: "Marcelita wrote: "Whenever I hear "Molière," I find myself smiling and remembering maybe the most charming scene in the novel.

"...goes on to say that the sister did not know who Molière was... ..."


Yes! And then Céleste's riff on the "photograph of him in the drawer...with his little cane, he's all furs and lace, such as not a prince ever wore."

And ending with Marie, "Look, Céleste....He can do the most insignificant things, and you'd think that the whole of nobility of France, right to the Pyrenees, was stirring in each of his movements." MP p.334

Oh, how I would like to search the cahiers for this passage...to see if Proust wrote it with fluidity or made changes.


message 35: by Jocelyne (new)

Jocelyne Lebon | 745 comments Marcelita wrote: "Kalliope wrote: "Another quote from Halévy's La juive.

We had already encountered this opera with Saint-Loup and Rachel. It is from an aria that the sentence "Rachel quand du Seigneur.." originat..."


So great, Marcelita. I am listening to Caruso as I am reading these posts.


message 36: by Jocelyne (last edited Jul 31, 2013 10:51AM) (new)

Jocelyne Lebon | 745 comments Ever since I switched to my French Kindle version, I have lost all concept of where I am in the text. I thought I was ahead since the Céleste Albaret mention was only in this week's reading, but then Fionnuala (great to have you back, Fionnuala) mentioned Brichot's long discourse on etymology which I have not reached yet. If it is long, I can't possibly have missed it.


message 37: by Marcelita (new)

Marcelita Swann | 1135 comments Jocelyne wrote: "Ever since I switched to my French Kindle version, I have lost all concept of where I am in the text. I thought I was ahead since the Céleste Albaret mention was only in this week's reading, but th..."

A suggestion? ... which you may only need to do one time.
Count, appromately, the number of pages Proustitute allots per week.
Then, once, mark the time it takes for that number of pages.
After that, you will be able to guesstimate, within 15 minutes or so.

Oh, and don't worry if you go over the weekly "limit" and post a shocking spoiler...we will just pretend we didn't see it, while calmly recommending a future re-post. ;)

To be so enthralled, and to lose "all concept" of where you are, is why we read Proust. My husband calls "Marcel" my favorite drug.


message 38: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
Marcelita wrote: "Oh, and don't worry if you go over the weekly "limit" and post a shocking spoiler...we will just pretend we didn't see it, while calmly recommending a future re-post. '..."

Or rather, try to keep track of the sentence that begins the new section... even in paper it is not always easy to find the break because it sometimes is in the middle of a paragraph. So that when you encounter the sentence you know you've reached the goal of the week.

We would like to keep the threads in order. It is not just the spoilers, but also for future look ups and reference.


message 39: by Jocelyne (new)

Jocelyne Lebon | 745 comments Marcelita, Kalliope, thank you for your suggestions. I think that the easiest and safest will be to stay a step behind.


message 40: by Eugene (last edited Aug 01, 2013 04:01AM) (new)

Eugene | 479 comments Semantic music or the music of meaning.

It was sufficient to make Elstir, who had met Ski once, feel for him the profound repulsion that is inspired in us not so much by the people who are completely different from us as by those who are less satisfactory versions of ourselves, in whom are displayed our less attractive qualities, the faults of which we have cured ourselves, unpleasantly reminding us of how we must have appeared to certain other people before we became what we now are. ML p. 368

We have a straight forward sentence (3rd person omniscient narration) written in Proust's conversational style with a digression: "who had met Ski once" and two parentheticals, the latter qualifying the former: "in whom are displayed our less attractive qualities, the faults of which we have cured ourselves" all separated by commas.

Like Brichot, "being out of sympathy with the modern Sorbonne", I would like to extend my exclusion, albeit willing, to the church of "scientific exactitude" too to make my "humanism" (ML p. 361) poetic and very personal and in that way broach a little of what semantic music means to me. You, I'm sure and I hope, will differ in your reading of Proust.

I found the sentence about Elstir's views of Ski musical in the sense of meaning: the way it plays with semantics (meaning meaning), particularly the parentheticals that delay the sentence's periodic satisfaction, like Swann listening and waiting for "the little phrase" of Vinteuil's sonata to be uttered again, and its promised completion in meaning by "not so much by..." we have the resolution: "...what we now are." Periods can be musical.

If you wish to view the novel in this musical metaphor there are symphonic considerations too between passages, sections and even volumes.


message 41: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala | 1142 comments Jocelyne wrote: "Ever since I switched to my French Kindle version, I have lost all concept of where I am in the text. I thought I was ahead since the Céleste Albaret mention was only in this week's reading, but then Fionnuala (great to have you back, Fionnuala) mentioned Brichot's long discourse on etymology..."

You've probably reached it by now, Jocelyne, and already enjoyed Brichot's detailed refutations of the Curé's theories on place names. A section where they both get to argue their respective positions would be very entertaining. Perhaps we can expect such a scene in a later book? All the characters, even those who played very minor parts in earlier volumes, like Morel and the curé himself, do seem destined to turn up again and again.

Has anyone else found that the reading has become easier and easier. Is it that Proust's sentences are less impenetrable or that we, the readers, have changed? That we have learned to read Proust with more fluency? - and I'm not talking about the language we are reading it in - something has changed for me in any case.


·Karen· (kmoll) | 318 comments I have got a little faster, yes, although, like you, I'm not sure if that's me or him.

There are still some sentences that stump me. I found this one, for example, almost totally impenetrable on the first three or four readings. I had to run the Eugene programme on it to try to suss out who or what the subject was: (p 238 in the folio classique)

Car M. Nissim Bernard ignorait lui-même ce qu'il pouvait entrer d'amour de la plage de Balbec, de la vue qu'on avait du restaurant sur la mer, et d'habitudes maniaques, dans le goût qu'il avait d'entretenir comme un rat d'opéra d'une autre sorte, à laquelle il manque encore un Degas, l'un de ses servants qui étaient encore des filles.

It took me quite some time to work out that the subject 'il' is the impersonal, and does not refer to M. Nissim Bernard, and then to find the predicate of the verb entretenir, which is quite a long way away.

And then once I got it (I think), I still couldn't quite see the sense of it in context, because surely the love of the beach at Balbec and of the view from the restaurant would go some way to explain why he likes having lunch at the Grand Hotel as well as the attraction of the 'commis', but I don't quite see how those things would play a role in his relationship with one of his own servants?

What do you understand by courrières? (Céleste and Marie Gineste) - I didn't find this word at all in my Petit Robert.


message 43: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala | 1142 comments ·Karen· wrote: "..And then once I got it (I think), I still couldn't quite see the sense of it in context, because surely the love of the beach at Balbec and of the view from the restaurant would go some way to explain why he likes having lunch at the Grand Hotel as well as the attraction of the 'commis', but I don't quite see how those things would play a role in his relationship with one of his own servants?."

I understood that Bloch wasn't wrong in thinking that it was a love of the view from the hotel plus the engrained habits of an old bachelor that caused M Nissim B to eat there every day because those reasons were partly present in N B's desire to 'keep' one of his young servants, (young enough to be still girl-like?) employed at the hotel, although he himself was unaware of those motives i.e., love of the sea and the odd habits of an an old bachelor. But it still isn't super clear.

I understood 'courières' to be private maids as opposed to the maids provided by the hotel?


message 44: by Eugene (last edited Aug 01, 2013 05:14AM) (new)

Eugene | 479 comments @Karen

As I read the sentence: M. Nissim Bernard is the subject, ignorait is the verb and everything that follows is the 'object' (meaning not the subject and not the verb). It is a complicated sentence, but read that way the real bugaboo for me, "ses servants", makes sense, they are the plural servants (girl dancers) of Degas or perhaps it refers to people who work for the hotel of which one is the 'apple of his eye', or both.

"Eugene programme": Find the main verb first then the subject and all else fall more easily into place.

@Fionnuala

Yes reading Proust becomes "easier and easier" as he has a limited number of complex sentence constructions and we've 'gotten used' to reading them after ~2500 pages.


message 45: by Eugene (last edited Aug 01, 2013 08:45AM) (new)

Eugene | 479 comments @Karen

Maybe you're right; but it could be a sentence fragment too with no verb that differentiates the subject from the rest.

However the ML translation agrees with my first 'guess'.

For M. Nissim Bernard himself was unaware of the extent to which a love for the beach at Balbec and for the view over the sea which one enjoyed from the restaurant, together with eccentricity of habit, contributed to the fancy that he had for keeping, like a little dancing girl of another kind which still lacks a Degas, one of his equally nubile servers. p. 330


·Karen· (kmoll) | 318 comments Fionnuala wrote: "in N B's desire to 'keep' one of his young servants, (young enough to be still girl-like?) employed at the hotel, "

Oh, OK; now I see how you're interpreting it differently to me: "le goût qu'il avait", I took to mean that he'd already developed this taste and had already installed one of these young girls as his private paramour, but you see it as a secret desire that he entertains in his head. Which makes a lot more sense, thanks.


·Karen· (kmoll) | 318 comments Eugene, the main verb of the whole sentence is definitely not the problem, as that is pretty obvious. Where confusion enters is in the subordinate clauses, each of which has its own verb, each verb having its own subject. French can use 'il' to refer back to the main (masculine) subject, or as an impersonal subject. You have 'il' in that sentence three times, and only once, as far as I can see, does it refer to M. NB (il avait), who is the subject of the main clause. The other twice it's an impersonal construction (il pouvait and il manque).


message 48: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala | 1142 comments ·Karen· wrote: "...Oh, OK; now I see how you're interpreting it differently to me: "le goût qu'il avait", I took to mean that he'd already developed this taste and had already installed one of these young girls as his private paramour, but you see it as a secret desire that he entertains in his head. Which makes a lot more sense, thanks. ."

I thought we were talking about a boy....now I'm really confused!


message 49: by Jocelyne (last edited Aug 01, 2013 09:24AM) (new)

Jocelyne Lebon | 745 comments Fionnuala wrote: "Jocelyne wrote: "Ever since I switched to my French Kindle version, I have lost all concept of where I am in the text. I thought I was ahead since the Céleste Albaret mention was only in this week'..."

I too found this section easier but, for my part, I don't think that it is because I am more accustomed to Proust, although I wish it were so. I think that it is because itis written in a simpler style and it is pure narrative without any of Proust's deep reflections and musings. I am bracing myself for more of these more obscure and hard to decipher passages.


message 50: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala | 1142 comments Jocelyne wrote: "I too found this section easier but, for my part, I don't think that it is because I am more accustomed to Proust, although I wish it were so. I think that it is because itis written in a simpler style and it is pure narrative without any of Proust's deep reflections and musings..."

You may be right, J.
What did you make of the meaning of the Nissam Bernard sentence from the beginning of the section which Karen quoted above?


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