2018: Our Year of Reading Proust discussion

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message 1: by Lori (last edited Jun 17, 2018 03:00PM) (new)

Lori (lorifw) | 40 comments Mod
I've just finished reading a section talking about Oriane- how discerning and particular she is as to who she chooses to include in her circle. Swann knows that Oriane would consider Elstir a clown. But I never had such an impression of Elstir when the narrator would visit him in his studio in L'Ombre. Any thoughts about this? About how we as readers are supposed to perceive Elstir?


message 2: by April (last edited Mar 07, 2022 08:52PM) (new)

April | 326 comments The character is not, but the real person (Whistler) was, perhaps.

Consider "Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl" was painted in 1862, and "L'Origine du monde" 1866.

As an artist, he/she may not think so, or even merely in that direction, but Oriane is not an artist.


message 3: by Lori (last edited Jun 18, 2018 02:57PM) (new)

Lori (lorifw) | 40 comments Mod
April wrote: "As an artist, he/she may not think so, or even merely in that direction, but Oriane is not an artist..."

Ah. So Proust might be contrasting how the narrator thinks Oriane, an elitist member of society, would view Elstir vs how the narrator might view him as a fellow artist. Maybe this is also a commentary on his view of Mme Verdurin- that while Mme Verdurin ranks lower in stature in society, she might perhaps have a more discerning judgment when it comes to artistic talent-- appreciating Elstir's artwork and Vinteuil's sonata.

Thanks!


message 4: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth | 252 comments Most critics think that Elstir is a sort of composite of several of the Impressionists; the Narrator (and Proust himself, actually) has the highest regard for him. Re Oriane: the Narrator is beginning to realize that she is not the imaginary fairy-princess that he had imagined in his childhood, but a real, and rather limited, woman.


message 5: by Lori (new)

Lori (lorifw) | 40 comments Mod
Elizabeth wrote: "Most critics think that Elstir is a sort of composite of several of the Impressionists; the Narrator (and Proust himself, actually) has the highest regard for him. Re Oriane: the Narrator is beginn..."

Ah. Great. Thank you.


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