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Sodom and Gomorrah (In Search of Lost Time, #4)
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Sodom and Gomorrah, vol. 4 > Through Sunday, 28 July: 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, 28 July of Sodom and Gomorrah, to page 326 (to the paragraph beginning: “”About this time there occurred at the Grand Hotel a scandal...”)


message 2: by ·Karen· (last edited Jul 22, 2013 02:18PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

·Karen· (kmoll) | 318 comments Hard to stop: I wanted to read about the scandal - that's what we're here for, the juicy stuff.

I'm left breathless by the swift changes and juxtapositions within the first three, four pages of this week's reading: dreams of grand-mère, mingled with desire for Albertine, pleasure (there's that word again) - the image of the couple creating new life to give a brother to the dead child, the sea in indolent, lascive mood (le sein bleuâtre), the sea as landscape, as countryside, Albertine again, what the narrator expects of her, that she should wait while he pays his social calls - the little train, the force of memory that renders it impossible for him to stay on the train, and then those memories of regret at the pain he caused his grand-mère in immediate juxtaposition with the house of pleasure.

There is such a quick succession of images here, and a mingling of pleasure and pain. Such quick movement.


message 3: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
·Karen· wrote: "..."

Yes, I agree, a different pace and a different tone.. there is a certain "lassitude". The pain he has revived has taken its toll and he is looking for a way out of it, but what he finds, Albertine, does not quite offer the needed relief.

The paragraphs at the very beginning of this section are very beautiful.


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

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
My edition has a footnote on the aubépines. A different manuscript has a whole paragraph on them, that has not been included in the edition I have. This is a shame because it is a beautiful paragraph.

I may try and copy it here later on.

When we finish the whole read I want to find out more about the different "cahiers" and the way the final version has been decided.


message 5: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
We have this book in the Library. I will edit the entry later since it is really a two volume set. Proust's Additions: The Making of 'a La Recherche Du Temps Perdu'


message 6: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala | 1142 comments You're reading the GF Flammarion edition now, Kalliope? It has had annexes of this kind of additional material from the beginning of the Recherche and I've failed to see why the passages couldn't have been included as they are always to the point and beautiful as well, and not in any way redundant. I'd be curious to read that book you mentioned.


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

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
For this volume, yes I am reading the Flammarion and as you say this is not the first time it includes other sections.

I am also trying to work out which edition I buy again. For next volume I may try the Compagnon edition (Karen's).

I also want to investigate the book I posted above.


message 8: by Eugene (new)

Eugene Wyatt | 68 comments Upheaval of my entire being. ML p. 210

An aspect of that is:

...Albertine was beginning nevertheless to inspire in me a desire for happiness. ML p. 246

What the split narration, the younger/older Narrator, gives to Proust is the freedom to baldy confess the shortcomings, i.e. the manipulations of Albertine, of the younger Narrator while telling the reader--in the personage of the older Narrator--that things will change, I will grow up, there will be upheavals, there are purposes here and good ones, many reflections of value abound before your eyes, of the 'failings' of my youth.


message 9: by Martin (new)

Martin Gibbs | 105 comments Is this also one of the first times where the Narrator sees Odette in Albertine? Or at least spares more than a passing glance at the phenomenon?


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

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
Martin wrote: "Is this also one of the first times where the Narrator sees Odette in Albertine? Or at least spares more than a passing glance at the phenomenon?"

Yes, I think it is and many things fall now into place.

The Narrator also mentions that he has been told about the obsession that Swann had.... We had all been wondering when reading about them in the first volume, how did the Narrator know so much about the couple.


message 11: by Marcelita (new)

Marcelita Swann | 1135 comments Kalliope wrote: "My edition has a footnote on the aubépines. A different manuscript has a whole paragraph on them, that has not been included in the edition I have. This is a shame because it is a beautiful parag..."

Cahiers at the BnF via Vincent Ferre/Scoop.it
"Vincent Ferre's insight:"
10 juillet 1871, naissance de Marcel Proust. Retrouvez 107 (!) de ses manuscrits dans #Gallica : http://bit.ly/1dhiUpX


message 12: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
Marcelita wrote: "Kalliope wrote: "My edition has a footnote on the aubépines. A different manuscript has a whole paragraph on them, that has not been included in the edition I have. This is a shame because it is ..."

Thank you Marcelita, these are great to look at, but impossible to read.

I am getting more and more the impression that the whole work was not quite finished and that a great deal of editing and proof-reading just could not be completed.

I will most probably get the book I posted above, but now I want to find which is the French edition I want to acquire.


message 13: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
In this section with the very many "N'importequoiville", here are a few of Monet's views of Trouville.










message 14: by Jocelyne (new)

Jocelyne Lebon | 745 comments Kalliope wrote: "In this section with the very many "N'importequoiville", here are a few of Monet's views of Trouville.

"


I love these reproductions. They truly sparkle.


message 15: by Jocelyne (last edited Jul 23, 2013 11:41AM) (new)

Jocelyne Lebon | 745 comments Isn't the dance the Narrator has with the Marquise de Cambremer and Mme de Cambremer née Legrandin amusing? In fact, one of the most amazing discoveries for me as I am reading ISOLT is Proust's sense of humor. He is always dripping with witticisms. His observations are so sharp and funny sometimes. Even in last week's reading, in the midst of that searing passage he managed to make me smile a couple of times. Once was about the bell hop, the other about the Combray neighbor, Me Poussin, better known in the narrator's family as "Tu m'en diras des nouvelles"!

I am also surprised to note that certain slang words, which, I thought, were fairly modern, have been around for over 100 years. Gaga, for example. I figured it predated Lady Gaga, but to see the word under Proust's pen seems so incongruously anachronistic.


·Karen· (kmoll) | 318 comments I'm noting how it is Dr Cottard who has 'infected' the narrator with the germ of jealousy and mistrust, after we hear that Cottard has become an expert on toxics and detoxification and maybe a kind of homeopathy? Or a vaccination: infecting the patient with a mild form of the disease in order to protect him?
In any case the imagery recurs through this whole passage on his suspicions of Albertine and Andrée, it's like poison whose effect is not felt at once (Gfc p. 193), then there's the analogy with a troubled night that might be caused by a medicament taken, whereas the lover believes that it's the absence of his loved one - wrong causes - 'maladie nerveuse'. Later, after the episode where Albertine watches Bloch's sister and cousin in the mirror, then she and Andrée are to meet at Elstir's. The narrator is relieved to find only Andrée there, which makes him feel more kindly disposed towards Albertine again:

"...dispositions plus douces à l'égard d'Albertine. Mais elles ne duraient pas plus longtemps que la fragile bonne santé de ces personnes délicates sujettes à des mieux passagers, et qu'un rien suffit à faire retomber malades." (Gfc p.199)

This whole analogy of his feelings for Albertine with sickness is where you can see the similarity with Swann and Odette too, I think. Martin pointed out how the narrator quite deliberately compares the two women, and himself to Swann, and here we begin to see the same pattern, the man at the mercy of his own mistrust - whether there is an actual reason for that mistrust or not. And this is put in terms of illness.
As Shakespeare says: My love is as a fever, longing still/for that which longer nurseth the disease. (Sonnet 147)


message 17: by Jocelyne (new)

Jocelyne Lebon | 745 comments I like your sickness analogy, Karen, as well as the similarity with the Odette/Swann relationship, but in terms of Cottard having infected the narrator, don't you think that the disease was dormant in the narrator, and that Cottard's remark was merely a catalyst to cause a flare up of his jealousy? I am just drawing this conclusion from the manipulation and possessiveness we have already witnessed vis-a-vis his grandmother.


message 18: by Marcelita (last edited Jul 29, 2013 02:49AM) (new)

Marcelita Swann | 1135 comments Kalliope wrote: "In this section with the very many "N'importequoiville", here are a few of Monet's views of Trouville.
"


Looking closely at the first and third paintings...noticed the high tide, in the first, without a boardwalk, and the low tide, in the third, with a boardwalk.

Curious...if the boardwalk was only "placed" during low tide...or was it another year...or covered up completely after high tide...or...


message 19: by Eugene (last edited Jul 23, 2013 09:13PM) (new)

Eugene Wyatt | 68 comments Intermittences du Coeur

Intermittent: occurring occasionally or at regular or irregular intervals... from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/inte...

I read the phrase 'Intermittencies of the heart' as metonymy where heart means feeling. It is of value in describing the recovery from intense and 'unexpected' grief that he encountered his first night at the hotel but now some days later, in this week's reading, he is able to think of his grandmother without dissolving in tears, he is able to see Albertine and other people which he couldn't at the onset of his "sorrow". His grief is intermittent; for now, it's intensity has left him.

That's on the page.

But what isn't is why he would select Intermittencies of the Heart as a title of his novel and change it later. I think the change was forthcoming as the title didn't encompass the scope of Proust's planned but as of yet his still unwritten novel.

Yet the title is very descriptive of the emotive states, the vacillation of feeling, of the Narrator even before grandmother's death.


message 20: by Eugene (last edited Jul 23, 2013 08:19PM) (new)

Eugene Wyatt | 68 comments Finally the Narrator "struts his stuff"; we see why he is a valued asset in the Faubourg Saint-Germain; on the terrace at the hotel with the Cambremers he is kind to the toothless dowager and she says,

"You are a true poet," the dowager Mme de Cambremer said to me. "One feels you are so responsive, so artistic. Do come, I shall play you some Chopin," she went on... ML p. 301

and he is even more witty and cutting than the Duchesse de Guermantes to Mme de Cambremer's pretentious daughter-in-law,

She suffered not at all from having been born Legrandin, for she had forgotten the fact altogether. She was offended by my reminding her of it... ML p. 297


·Karen· (kmoll) | 318 comments Jocelyne wrote: "I like your sickness analogy, Karen, as well as the similarity with the Odette/Swann relationship, but in terms of Cottard having infected the narrator, don't you think that the disease was dormant..."

Absolutely, yes, Jocelyne, you're quite right. Just as some people are more susceptible to certain illnesses(!)

(It wasn't my analogy, it's what's there on the page.)

What intrigues me is how to see Albertine. As a character, she remains very shadowy, which is no surprise as our narrator is very self-regarding, is not interested in giving the reader a psychogram of all his different characters in some kind of - damn what's the word when there's a big cast of characters? - lost it - what I mean is that he's not going to go into the psychological motivation of his characters. This isn't Middlemarch. Albertine's thoughts and reasons for how she acts will remain as mysterious to us as to the narrator.

I'm wondering: would Albertine have been seen at the time as a young woman of loose morals? Surely she must have been. Unprotected by her parents, as Cottard points out. Available. Yet she seems unconcerned about any scandal she might cause in the hotel.

The narrator is worried about the open door, and who might hear when he sends the hotel chappie out to fetch Albertine. But there's not a huge sense of this affair being clandestine. On the other hand, Françoise knows (and disapproves), but what about the narrator's mother? Are they conducting their affair under her nose, but without her knowledge?

I mean I was surprised when he compares Albertine to a 'grue' - as good as a prostitute - but are we meant to see her as at the beginning of such a career?


·Karen· (kmoll) | 318 comments ensemble

nice how words pop into your head when you're no longer searching for them.


message 23: by Jocelyne (new)

Jocelyne Lebon | 745 comments Don't you think that Albertine seems shadowy at this stage because the narrator is still a bit unsure as to what she is about, or at the very least, he still has moments when he wants to doubt the evidence provided by Cottard?


message 24: by Marcelita (new)

Marcelita Swann | 1135 comments ·Karen· wrote: "Jocelyne wrote: "I like your sickness analogy, Karen, as well as the similarity with the Odette/Swann relationship, but in terms of Cottard having infected the narrator, don't you think that the di..."

"The narrator is worried about the open door, and who might hear when he sends the hotel chappie out to fetch Albertine."

That stuck me as strange also at the time, especially when the narrator became angry "...banging the door shut with all my might...."

The narrator's seriousness, contrasting with the lift-boy's assertions ("But there's nobody on this floor except us two.") and the constant stream of people and interruptions, made me think of one of the Marx Brothers' movies...with the serious Margaret Dumont as Mrs. Claypool in "A Night at the Opera" and the cabin scene.
(www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZvugebaT6Q)

Maybe the reason for the closed door had less to do with Albertine, as he had no qualms in asking Francoise to "fetch her," but in asking the lift-boy "to finish his work a little earlier than usual." The narrator may not have wanted the hotel staff to know he was sending the lift-boy "far from Balbec."


message 25: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
Another contemporary painting with young woman by the sea... by Sorolla




message 26: by Eugene (last edited Jul 24, 2013 02:04PM) (new)

Eugene Wyatt | 68 comments Albertine/Narrator & Odette/Swann: Jealousy, which is fueled by suspicion and not by fact, or it becomes envy, grief or something else, is used by Proust to describe love/desire in both these relationships.

Jealousy interests Proust as it is an intermittency of the heart; a jealous person can be tamed by believing that the loved one loves back, as the Narrator believes Albertine to be true to him after her 'trial' in the hotel room, or made jealous again by believing that the loved one loves another. Jealousy is intermittent.

There is no evidence, no hard fact, in Swann in Love, that Odette is unfaithful to Swann. There is no evidence, no hard fact, that Andrée interests Albertine or vice versa only Cottard's suppositions that make the Narrator suspicious.

If jealousy is to continue Albertine will always remain "shadowy" as does Odette in Swann in Love.


message 27: by Eugene (new)

Eugene Wyatt | 68 comments Jealousy is an emotion and typically refers to the negative thoughts and feelings of insecurity, fear, and anxiety over an anticipated loss of something that the person values, particularly in reference to a human connection. Jealousy often consists of a combination of presenting emotions such as anger, resentment, inadequacy, helplessness and disgust. In the original broad meaning used in this article, jealousy is distinct from envy, though the two terms have popularly become synonymous in the English language, with both now taking on the narrower definition originally used for envy alone.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jealousy


message 28: by Eugene (new)

Eugene Wyatt | 68 comments ...she drew her tongue lightly over my lips, which she attempted to force apart. At first I kept them tight shut. ML p. 317

Where's Richard


message 29: by Jocelyne (new)

Jocelyne Lebon | 745 comments Eugene wrote: "...she drew her tongue lightly over my lips, which she attempted to force apart. At first I kept them tight shut. ML p. 317

Where's Richard"


I don't know but last time I checked he was preoccupied with Me Putbus.


message 30: by Jocelyne (new)

Jocelyne Lebon | 745 comments 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 characterization of the courrière.


message 31: by Jocelyne (new)

Jocelyne Lebon | 745 comments Anybody home? It looks like I am the last one left. I'll unplug the toaster before I go.


·Karen· (kmoll) | 318 comments Jocelyne wrote: "Anybody home? It looks like I am the last one left. I'll unplug the toaster before I go."

Sorry, sooo busy today fighting the drifts of builders' dust that have gathered on every, but every horizontal surface.
Where's Fionnuala?


message 33: by ·Karen· (last edited Jul 25, 2013 12:19PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

·Karen· (kmoll) | 318 comments Having more time now, I'm doing what Kal has been doing all along, and reading the section twice. I re-found the part that brings Odette and Albertine together:

"Ces récits (de Mme Swann) contribuèrent à faire que dans l'avenir mon imagination faisait le jeu de supposer qu'Albertine aurait pu, au lieu d'être une jeune fille bonne, avoir la même immoralité, la même faculté de tromperie qu'une ancienn grue, et je pensais à toutes les souffrances qui m'auraient attendu dans ce cas si j'avais jamais dû l'aimer." (Gfc p.200)

So this is just a little game played out in his imagination, the idea that Albertine might have been, could have been, as immoral and treacherous as an old tart, and then he would have suffered. But she is in fact a good girl.
Sort of answers my question.
I still wonder how she then qualifies as 'good'? Is it her social background, or her own behaviour?


message 34: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
Hello, I am here.. just came back from a second visit to the Pissarro exhibit and from having a drink in the new and lovely terraces of the museum...

Fionnuala is in Dublin.. back on Saturday I think...

I am a bit behind in the reading.. will catch up soon...

Here is where I was




message 35: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
·Karen· wrote: "Having more time now, I'm doing what Kal has been doing all along, and reading the section twice. I re-found the part that brings Odette and Albertine together:

"Ces récits (de Mme Swann) contribu..."


I have to do what I was doing, and read it twice... A bit behind, but will have a quiet weekend, so I will catch up properly.

That is an excellent quote, Karen... yes, you are right.. he is playing a little game in his mind...


·Karen· (kmoll) | 318 comments Thanks, once more, for all the fantastic pictures, Kal. That terrace looks very inviting too!

And I'm just re-reading the lovely social dance that Jocelyne appreciates so well up in message 15. Yes, especially on this second run through, I'm finding it hilarious. I love how the two women are made to look absurd, and yet somehow it doesn't feel cruel, there's a sort of wry tone to it that gives a feel of tolerance of their little foibles rather than real disdain.


message 37: by ·Karen· (last edited Jul 25, 2013 02:12PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

·Karen· (kmoll) | 318 comments This is the stuff that turns me on: when I catch a glimpse of the times that Proust was living in, as I've seen in other works from that era. The passage that caught my eye comes right after the slight dig at the younger Mme Cambremer's idea of Debussy being a progression from Wagner. I get a real impression of that sense of living at a time of rapid change, and of a plethora of styles and aesthetics in all the arts, of movements coming and passing within a few months, a jostling of the avant-garde movements:

"On disait qu'à une époque de hâte convenait un art rapide..."
"Car les théories et les écoles, comme les microbes et les globules, s'entre-dévorent et assurent, par leur lutte, la continuité de la vie. Mais ce temps n'était pas encore venu." (Gfc p. 210)

And then just a few pages later, the observation about the railways making it necessary to pay attention to the minutes, in contrast to the ancient Romans who barely even needed to worry about the precise hour. Those Romans with their 'vie moins pressée' (Gfc 219)


message 38: by Eugene (last edited Jul 25, 2013 08:46PM) (new)

Eugene | 479 comments After his 'french' kiss, in the following paragraph, the Narrator reflects from a future time and we have a voice (older than the younger Narrator but younger than the older Narrator) that changes the texture of the reading that I find so pleasurable.

I ought to have gone away that evening and never seen her again. ML p. 317

And the voice changes back again to the earlier one in the next paragraph: the Narrator begins to live in closer intimacy with his mother and so on in the writing, back and forth the voices go, they are intermittent.


message 39: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (last edited Jul 25, 2013 10:33PM) (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
La Marquise née Legrandin..

"Comment, pas illustre?...Tout un vitrail de la cathédrale de Bayeux est rempli par ses armes..." (F 297)

So, from our trip..




And I found some of the windows in this cathedral extraordinary not so much because of their stained glass (relatively modern), but because they are huge for this kind of building. It is not normal to be able to see the flying buttresses so clearly from the inside.





message 40: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (last edited Jul 25, 2013 10:33PM) (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
"Il est vrai que la seule élève encore vivante de Chopin déclarait avec raison que la manière de jouer, le sentiment du Maître ne s'était transmis, à travers elle, qu'à Mme de Cambremer.." (F302).

This sentence makes me think of Gautier-Vignal and his Proust connu et inconnu. G-V knew the pupil of Chopin. So this sentence by Proust makes me think it may come out of the conversations between Proust and G-V.


message 41: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
·Karen· wrote: "This is the stuff that turns me on: when I catch a glimpse of the times that Proust was living in, as I've seen in other works from that era. The passage that caught my eye comes right after the sl..."

I've reached this passage. I am also getting a sense of how Proust's aesthetic opinions have shifted from the prewar volume to the postwar writings.


message 42: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
On Henri Le Sidaner...

He is not presented as a a positive pole in the spectrum for measuring taste, but I have to say that I like several of his paintings.. I like those “intimistes” without a human figure.

I like these:








message 43: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (last edited Jul 26, 2013 05:47AM) (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
The way the Narrator rescues Chopin through Debussy is fascinating.

I am friends of a pianist who told me how in a concert last summer he played a piece of Chopin and without stopping moved on to one by Debussy--which he thinks are related musically--. The critics had not recognized what he had done and thought that he had just played Debussy.

I know he is exploring further the musical links between the two composers.


By the time Proust was writing this, Debussy had already died (1918)


·Karen· (kmoll) | 318 comments Thanks again for pictures Kal. Love 'em.


message 45: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
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..."

Jocelyne,

Now I have reached the end of this week's section and the tribute to Céleste belongs to next week. I shall transfer the pictures to the following section.


message 46: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
In the attic of Tante Léonie, there was this photo of the wife of Mardrus, one of the translators of Les Mille et une Nuits.



In an earlier post there was some discussion already about the different translations into French of this work.

The photo of Lucie Delarus-Mardrus made us think of the portrait of Odette that the Narrator had seen at Elstir's in the Jeunes Filles volume.


·Karen· (kmoll) | 318 comments Kalliope wrote: "Céleste Albaret; next week"

Thanks, Kal. I was getting quite agitated at not being able to find any reference to her anywhere. I thought I had missed something.


message 48: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
Since I am also listening to an audio version, this section is very funny. The reading, acting really, of the toothless Mme de Cambremer douairiere, is hilarious...

and the best was the "... hartthhisstte!"..


message 49: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
·Karen· wrote: " I was getting quite agitated at not being able to find any reference to her anywhere. I thought I had missed something."

As I follow the breaks in my audio as well, sometimes I overlap with the group's division, and that is why I had to read on...


message 50: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
The whole section on "le lift" is brilliant, this is another example of Proust's sense of humour and refined irony.


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