There are some passages in this section of the book the latter half which I just can't resist from quoting, "I could never have believed that I should now be dreaming of a sea which was no more than a whitish vapour that had lost both consistency and colour. But of such a sea Elstir, like the people who sat musing on board those vessels drowsy with the heat, had felt so intensely the enchantment that he had succeeded in transcribing, in fixing for all time upon his canvas, the imperceptible ebb of the tide, the throb of one happy moment; and at the sight of this magic portrait, one could think of nothing else than to range the wide world, seeking to recapture the vanished day in its instantaneous, slumbering beauty" pg.
So it is that grapes sweeten in the sun. And by their slow continuity these simple little games had gradually wrought in me also, as in those who do nothing else all day but lie outstretched by the sea, breathing the salt air and sunning themselves, a relaxation, a blissful smile, a vague dazzlement that had spread from brain to eyes" pg.
I certainly cannot add any insights into the greatness and profundity of this work which has not already been said by Edmund Wilson or Vladimir Nabokov. Within a Budding Grove is a deeply felt, beautiful and fleeting segment of one of the finest novels of the last century, I urge you to read it.
From Amazon This is a great copy of Vol.
In Search of Lost Time Volume II Within a Budding Grove
Each volume in the septrology may be read individually as an independent novel. This is, of course, the very best translation available in English; probably the very best that will ever be available in English: certainly the next best thing to reading the original French. Note: Proust is not quick reading, and one who tries to read too quickly will just as quickly lose the tread of the narrative. One has to follow his line of thought: this is the art and beauty of the text. Proust's achievement is one of the greatest edifices of Western art, perhaps comparable only to Wagner's Ring cycle.
Proust Paradox From Amazon It's my experience, reading this novel, to be perpetually grateful for the miracle of Proust, grateful, too, that he waited until his maturity to write; as someone who's spent time in writing workshops, I can only imagine the dissipation of his energies into anemic prototypes had he been persuaded to publish prematurely. Lovingly written, every word endowed with love of life and maturity's distillation of life experience, it is a novel which reads like a memoir of a life devoted to the connoisseur's pursuit of pleasure-how can that not alienate?
Proust is consciously writing for an elite of mental or temperamental sympathy. To say that reading Proust has helped me through hard times is true-yet how can I-someone who has, to paraphrase a T-shirt I saw recently, a blackbelt in keepin' it real-not resent a courtesan with three ladies to aid in her toilette-however tenderly rendered? The mature Proust's vision of love-in this novel at least-is adolescent and self-absorbed, and there is no sense of a selfless or mature love, such as that of a parent for a child, which contains a dying to self as opposed to an expansion of self.
One thinks here of the authorial contempt for the too-giving parent, Vinteuil. I pity Marcel: to lose oneself-the burden-to lose time-sometimes-is very refreshing indeed. Mired in the adolescent and egotistical point-of-view, without benefit of even the illusory counterpoint of an adult lover's Swann's point-of-view, the narrative does sometimes suffer from too much Marcel.
Coddled, effete, he finely calibrates the shades of disillusionment that possession as opposed to reflection offers-the "psychological impossibility of happiness"-after having his wildest fantasies Berma! And he universalizes his singular temperamental trait, that inability to live in the moment.
He gives me back to myself-it's a long time since I've felt the sole inhabitor of my consciousness and had the leisure to puzzle out my sensations. Usually my mind is full to the brim like this: "Mommy-mommy-mommy-here comes little bear!
What does little bear say?! Here's little bear! Little bear is talking! Visiting Proust's cool room of mirrors and ocean waves returns that feeling to me, and that is precious. There is something precious in his extremity-his lack of apology for a sensitive and aesthetically-driven nature that is anathema to middle-class American values. And that rhythm like ocean waves! It gets in your head, lowers your blood pressure, no doubt alters brain wave patterns, the chemicals in neuropathways.
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Important Message. In search of lost time volume 2: within a budding grove by Proust. Each volume in the septrology may be read individually as an independent novel. In this new position he revealed himself a different man. Since while continuing to meet his own personal friends by himself, not wishing to impose Odette on them unless they expressly asked to be introduced to her it was a second life that he had begunto lead, in common with his wife, among a new set of people, it would have been understandable if, in order to gauge the social importance of these new acquaintances and thereby the degree of self-esteem that might be derived from entertaining them, he had used, as a standard of comparison, not the brilliant society in which he himself had moved before his marriage, but former connections of Odette's.
But, even when one knew that it was with uncouth functionaries and tainted women, the ornaments of ministerial ball-rooms, that he now wished to associate, it was still astonishing to hear him, who in the old days, and even still, would so gracefully refrain from mentioning an invitation to Twickenham or to Buckingham Palace, proclaim with quite unnecessary emphasis that the wife of some junior minister had returned Mme Swann's call. It will perhaps be objected here that what this really implied was that the simplicity of the fashionable Swann had been simply a more refined form of vanity, and that, like certain other Jews, my parents' old friend had contrived to illustrate in turn all the successive stages through which those of his race had passed, from the most naive snobbery and the crudest caddishness to the most exquisite good manners.
But the chief reason--and one which is applicable to humanity as a whole--was that our virtues themselves are not free and floating qualities over which we retain a permanent control and power of disposal; they come to be so closely linked in our minds with the actions in conjunction with which we have made it our duty to exercise them that if we come to engage in an activity of a different kind, it catches us off guard and without the slightest awareness that it might involve the application of those same virtues. Swann, in his solicitude for these new connections and in the pride with which he referred to them, was like those great artists--modest or generous by nature--who, if in their declining years they take to cooking or to gardening, display a naive gratification at the compliments that are paid to their dishes or their borders, and will not allow any of the criticism which they readily accept when it is applied to their real achievements; or who, while giving away a canvas for nothing, cannot conceal their annoyance if they lose a couple of francs at dominoes.
As for Professor Cottard, we shall meet him again, at length, much later, with the 'Mistress,' Mme Verdurin, in her country house La Raspeliere. In the case of Cottard, on the other hand, the period when we saw him in attendance at Swann's first meetings with the Verdurins was already fairly remote; and honours, offices and titles come with the passage of the years. Secondly, a man may be illiterate, and make stupid puns, and yet have a special gift which no amount of general culture can replace--such as the gift of a great strategist or physician.
And so it was not merely as an obscure practitioner, who had attained in course of time to European celebrity, that the rest of his profession regarded Cottard.
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The most intelligent of the younger doctors used to assert--for a year or two at least, for fashions change, being themselves begotten of the desire for change--that if they themselves ever fell ill Cottard was the only one of the leading men to whom they would entrust their lives. No doubt they preferred the company of certain others who were better read, more artistic, with whom they could discuss Nietzsche and Wagner.
When there was a musical party at Mme Cottard's, on the evenings when--in the hope that it might one day make him Dean of the Faculty--she entertained the colleagues and pupils of her husband, the latter, instead of listening, preferred to play cards in another room. But everyone praised the quickness, the penetration, the unerring judgment of his diagnoses. Thirdly, in considering the general impression which Professor Cottard must have made on a man like my father, we must bear in mind that the character which a man exhibits in the latter half of his life is not always, though it often is, his original character developed or withered, attenuated or enlarged; it is sometimes the exact reverse, like a garment that has been turned.
Except from the Verdurins, who were infatuated with him, Cottard's hesitating manner, his excessive shyness and affability had, in his young days, called down upon him endless taunts and sneers. What charitable friend counselled that glacial air? The importance of his professional standing made it all the more easy for him to adopt. Wherever he went, save at the Verdurins', where he instinctively became himself again, he would assume a repellent coldness, remain deliberately silent, adopt a peremptory tone when he was obliged to speak, and never fail to say the most disagreeable things.
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He had every opportunity of rehearsing this new attitude before his patients, who, seeing him for the first time, were not in a position to make comparisons, and would have been greatly surprised to learn that he was not at all a rude man by nature. Impassiveness was what he strove to attain, and even while visiting his hospital wards, when he allowed himself to utter one of those puns which left everyone, from the house physician to the most junior student, helpless with laughter, he would always make it without moving a muscle of his face, which was itself no longer recognisable now that he had shaved off his beard and moustache.
Who, finally, was the Marquis de Norpois? He had been Minister Plenipotentiary before the War, and was actually an ambassador on the Sixteenth of May;1 in spite of which, and to the general astonishment, he had since been several times chosen to represent France on special missions--even, as Controller of Debts, in Egypt, where, thanks to his considerable financial skill, he had rendered important services--by Radical cabinets under which a simple bourgeois reactionary would have declined to serve, and in whose eyes M. But these advanced ministers seemed to be aware that, in making such an appointment, they were showing how broadminded they were when the higher interests of France were at stake, were raising themselves above the general run of politicians to the extent that the Journal des Debats itself referred to them as 'statesmen,' and were reaping direct advantage from the prestige that attaches to an aristocratic name and the dramatic interest always aroused by an unexpected appointment.
And they knew also that, in calling upon M. And in this calculation the Government of the Republic was not mistaken. In the first place, because an aristocrat of a certain type, brought up from his cradle to regard his name as an innate asset of which no accident can deprive him and of whose value his peers, or those of even nobler birth, can form a fairly exact estimate , knows that he can dispense with the efforts since they can in no way enhance his position in which, without any appreciable result, so many public men of the middle class spend themselves to profess only orthodox opinions and associate only with right-thinking people.
Anxious, on the other hand, to enhance his own importance in the eyes of the princely or ducal families which take immediate precedence of his own, he knows that he can do so only by complementing his name with something that it lacked, something that will give it priority over other names heraldically its equals: such as political influence, a literary or an artistic reputation, or a large fortune. And so what he saves by ignoring the ineffectual squires who are sought after by his bourgeois colleagues, but of his sterile friendship with whom a prince would think nothing, he will lavish on the politicians who freemasons, or worse, though they be can advance him in diplomacy or support him in elections, and on the artists or scientists whose patronage can help him to 'break into' the branches in which they are predominant, on anyone, in fact, who is in a position to confer a fresh distinction or to help bring off a rich marriage.
But in the case of M. He had imbibed, during that career, an aversion, a dread, a contempt for the methods of procedure, more or less revolutionary and at the very least improper, which are those of an Opposition. Save in the case of a few illiterates--high or low, it makes no matter--by whom no difference in quality is perceptible, what brings men together is not a community of views but a consanguinity of minds.
An Academician of the Legouve type, an upholder of the classics, would have applauded Maxime Du Camp's or Meziere's eulogy of Victor Hugo with more fervour than that of Boileau by Claudel. A common nationalism suffices to endear Barres to his electors, who scarcely distinguish between him and M.
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Georges Berry, but not to those of his brother Academicians who, with the same political opinions but a different type of mind, will be more partial even to enemies such as M. Ribot and M. Deschanel, with whom, in turn, the most loyal Monarchists feel themselves more at home than with Maurras or Leon Daudet, who nevertheless also desire the King's return.
Sparing of his words, not only from a professional habit of prudence and reserve, but because words themselves have more value, present more subtleties of definition to men whose efforts, protracted over a decade, to bring two countries to an understanding are condensed, translated--in a speech or in a protocol--into a single adjective, colourless in all appearance, but to them pregnant with a world of meaning, M.
My father was himself more astonished than anyone. For, being generally somewhat unsociable, he was not used to being sought after outside the circle of his intimates, and frankly admitted it. He realised that these overtures on the part of the diplomat were a reflection of the completely individual standpoint which each of us adopts for himself in making his choice of friends, and from which all a man's intellectual qualities or his sensibility will be a far less potent recommendation to someone who is bored or irritated by him than the frankness and gaiety of another man whom many would consider vapid, frivolous and null.
I'm sure he's going to tell me some more fascinating things about the 'Seventy war. Only the other day, at the Opera, during the gala performance given for King Theodosius, the newspapers had all drawn attention to the long conversation which that monarch had had with M.
In Search of Lost Time | novel by Proust | Britannica
It is marvelously about life. It reminds me of Dickens, Shakespeare, Moliere. Proust was, among other things, one of the great comic writers of all time.
There has never been anyone else of Proust's ability to show us things; Proust's pointing finger is unequaled. This discussion guide will assist readers in exploring In Search of Lost Time. Hopefully, it will help create a bond not only between the book and the reader, but also between the members of the group. In your support of this book, please feel free to copy and distribute this guide to best facilitate the program.