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kindle º Le Côté de Guermantes Ø Paperback ß marcel proust ß [Reading] ➳ Le Côté de Guermantes ➻ Marcel Proust – Johns-cycling-diary.co.uk After the relative intimacy of the first two volumes of In Search of Lost Time The Guermantes Way opens up a vast dazzling landscape of fAfter the relative intimacy of the first two volumes of In Search of Lost Time The Guermantes Way opens up a vast dazzling landscape of fashionable Parisian life in the late nineteenth century as the narrator enters the brilliant shallow Le Côté PDFEPUBworld of the literary and aristocr Names with PowerAccording to Proust proper names imply a soul even for inanimate objects like cities If something has a proper name it somehow lives and has some sort of spiritual coherence And the existence of such names has a specific effect on human beings It provokes them to join with proper names in a sort of search for what this nominal soul and their own might consist of Guermantes is such a proper name Guermantes is a person in the first instance the Duchess but also her husband Le Duc Guermantes is also a place or rather two particular places a castle in the country and a Parisian residence in the Faubourg St Germain Further removed but also denoted by the proper name Guermantes is a dispersed set of estates in space and a corresponding family history which chronicles their acuisition and management in timeAll of these denotations according to Proust's theory have a soul to be searched for and explored But it is not the person or place that is to be investigated; it is the proper noun itself Thus for example the actress Berman by whom the younger Marcel was captivated no longer has a soul for him The concrete person is vacuous and her name has no real significance except as a good actress No longer an archetype of Woman she has been reduced to 'that actress' not even a proper noun Although he admires her theatrical skill she has lost all power in Marcel's lifeOn the other hand Guermantes is a name with power not archetypal but singular power It is a word that like all proper nouns has a meaning that exceeds its denotations It is a word that can only be described as having a life of its own It is self referential And such a proper noun is powerful precisely to the degree of its self referentiality It is bigger than its denotation not in the sense of suggesting something 'beyond' but because it attracts meaning to itselfSo the Duchess Guermantes although fashionable is a fairly unimpressive woman Out of the context of her proper name she might be considered merely ordinary But her salon is the most sought after in Paris Guermantes castle is insignificant militarily and architecturally; but it us enmeshed in a sort of regal nostalgia which seems a part of the French national psyche since the Revolution The Guermantes family name itself has no ancient pedigree; but it has emotional and social 'connections' which allow it to be treated as if it had Its history is a symbol for the history of all of FranceWords with power condense inarticulate feelings into articulate myths and ideals But however articulate these myths and ideals they are unanalyzable first because their articulation is never stable and second because they are infinitely interpretable Every interpretive statement about them becomes a component of their meaning and adds to their powerThis power of proper names appears to be supernatural even mysterious and potent than language in general It emanates mysteriously from human interaction but is beyond the control of any individual as all language is But there is a character to proper nouns which is decidedly religious even doctrinal As Marcel says with some obvious religious emotion the presence of Jesus Christ in the host seemed to me no a mystery than the Duchess's house in the Faubourg being situated on the right bank of the river and so near my bedroom in the morning I could hear its carpets being beaten But the line of demarcation that separated me from the Faubourg St Germain seemed to me all the real because it was purely idealIt is not possible to escape the power of these proper nouns One cannot ignore them or unilaterally refrain from using them in one's vocabulary because they intrude continuously and intimately into one's life Encountering Le Duc for example without knowing who he is or without using the correct form of address will evoke a humiliating response On the other hand attempting to actively resist this power is futile The power does not exist in the concrete embodiment of Le Duc or his castle or even of his wealth It exists in his name itself Its power is that of vocabulary not of politics or armaments It is a power that is immune from individual effort to displace it As is always the case with language fighting it means isolating oneself utterly from one's fellow The name derives its potency for all intents and purposes from another dimensionTherefore one must submit to the power of these proper nouns either by merely accepting their mythical and ideological demands or by assimilating these demands into one's own personality In this matter event one discovers the motivation of ambition for the first time the active desire to become a part of the word with powerThe recognition of ambition marks Marcel's transition into adulthood The grown up world is not one of the concrete reality of things It is a world of the symbolic reality of proper names Of course symbolism has always been important for Marcel one thinks of the meanings suggested by church steeples as well as the actress in previous volumes for example But the symbolism of these things was directed toward an ungraspable beyondness a primitive spirituality that evoked searching as it were past the symbol to some other reality These symbols represented something internal to Marcel whether purpose or destiny he knew not But they called him forth into himselfMarcel's emergent adult symbolism is of a radically different sort The symbols of proper nouns point not beyond themselves but only to themselves This is the psychic sump of their self referentiality Their profound self referentiality will eventually blind Marcel to his infantile symbolic uest altogether His iconic symbolism will be steadily replaced by a sort of heretical symbolism which narrows and closely binds Marcel's perception This is the Guermantes Way

Marcel Proust Ö Le Côté de Guermantes kindle

Atic salons Both a salute to and a devastating satire of a time place and culture The Guermantes Way defines the great tradition of novels that follow the initiation of a young man into the ways of the world This elegantly packaged new translation will introduce a new generation of Americ And even in my most carnal desires oriented always in a particular direction concentrated round a single dream I might have recognized as their primary motive an idea an idea for which I would have laid down my life at the innermost core of which as in my day dreams while I sat reading all afternoon in the garden at Combray lay the notion of perfection Marcel ProustI go forward slowly dead and my vision is no longer mine it’s nothing it’s only the vision of the human animal who without wanting inherited Greek culture Roman order Christian morality and all the other illusions that constitute the civilization in which I feelWhere can the living be Fernando Pessoa Constants are a comfort Predictable reliable indestructible themes upon which to stake a claim build a life and conjure up a culture Without them there would be no tradition no heritage no common meaning that has been given centuries to bring together the many millions of humanity and will continue to do so long into the futureTransience is stimulating Uniue original unpredictable the many spices that fill each day of life with novelty and excitement Without them civilization would die a slow death unable to provide for the insatiable minds crowding its surface compensate them for all the rules and regulations that confine them in every aspect of their livesIn Swann's Way we were introduced to the fragile chaos that is memory all of its invisible triggers and surprising strengths when it came to prying forth events that molt and flex with each passing second as fast as we ourselves can metamorphosize In Within a Budding Grove we found beauty then lost it then found it again so long as we lied and were lied to consciously or otherwise in hopes of that one instant where what we loved was indeed what was In Guermantes Way we reach out of our protective cocoons and unleash these truths of mind and matter to rampage over the wide plane of humanity What results is both admirable and terrible a truth of life whose nakedness proves too ferocious for the majority of minds We are satisfied with neither peace nor war with neither the unchanging monotony that lies too close to the cold and silent realm of mortality nor the rampant fury that upturns our sensibilities and forces us through evolutionary contortions at a sometimes deathly speed We yearn for connections based on similarity and shy away from anything that decries our individuality We wish to be understood; we do not want to be spoken throughSo we form our societies our little cliues our passion plays that eternally jest with one hand and keep a tight hold on emergency conventions with the other We set the trends watch as the clusters form and the enthusiasm rises to a fever pitch then switch gears as soon as the crowds begin to settle and the dissonant murmurs begin to rise We ensure that above all else shallowness is the key to every sort of success; we make sure to never tread too deeply in the psyche where the shadowy past looms large and conforms thoroughly than one with inherent beliefs in ones self can bear We adapt at every social turn and mental acrobatics trick so that the momentary thrill is always there and always momentary and make the word hypocrisy nothing than the incessant whine of those who failed One never has to worry about disagreeing states of mind so long as one is the ringmaster of the entertainment One never has to concern oneself with say feelings and justice and empathy when the supreme goal is maintenance of the social formula One need not ever have to plant oneself in another's shoes when one is so busy in leading a parade of thousandsFor how else are we supposed to be satisfied we social animals with our countless hopes and dreams and mentalities always clashing when together and so very lonely when apart How else do we function within the constricting walls of ideologies that have had millenia in which to grow find a little variation to make the promise of a new day something of a comfort rather than a living hell Our minds our bodies our souls change with every passing moment and yet we seek the refuge of similarity with a fellow human being whose transformations are just as uick and just as erratic We grow upon ideas that have given us security since the first idea came into being and then we find ourselves outgrowing them flaying ourselves on insidious restrictions that are almost too ingrained to be even be considered in words let alone uestionedOur thoughts swim to gorgeous depths that cannot sustain life and so we must wait on the surface and make do with the wreckage that manages to float up through the darkness The bits and pieces last until they no longer suffice for a pleasant existence what with so many others crowding and crewing and manipulating the flotsam and jetsam to their own advantage We wonder if it would be enjoyable to sink down and make ones own way through the sunken ships with only ones thoughts for company We would miss the others though what with their complete removal from our own frame of mind so refreshingly different despite all their sometimes aggravating differencesIt's difficult balancing the worth of self in solitude against that of living in conformation judging how much of oneself is an identity and how much of it is a sociocultural construct Truth versus stability It's not a wonder that most of the world is devoted to the latter At least there you're not alone

text ´ Le Côté de Guermantes Ö Marcel Proust

Le Côté de GuermantesAn readers to the literary richness of Marcel ProustFirst time in Penguin ClassicsA Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition with french flaps and luxurious designPenguin Classics' superb new edition of In Search of Lost Time is the first completely new translation of Proust's masterwork since the After being a little disappointed in the second volume of Proust this one returns to the absolute wonderfulness of Swanns Way I noticed that another reviewer commented on the addictive uality of Proust and I have to agree A few weeks ago when I started Swanns Way I figured I'd read one of his books and then maybe next summer go into the next one and leisurely through the remaining years of my thirties read one Proust book a year and enter into my forties being able to say that I'd read Proust Instead though as soon as I finish one of his books I want to immediately begin the next Thinking about this book and if I was asked to tell someone 'what it was about' a uestion I've been asked by three people while reading this book One of them a security guard at workand one someone in one of my library classes and the third a person in the park who none of the characters of this book would ever associate with Each time I told them it was about France around the turn of the century Each in turn told me they were sorry and it didn't sound interesting I should note that not one of the people knew who Proust was a fact that left me a little baffled I mean what's the point of reading the highest of high brow literature if you can't 'wow' people with your reading material is there really another reason to be reading this stuff Isn't one expecting to be seen reading something like Proust or Joyce and then be invited to some wonderful soirée filled with fashionable and witty people and live out your own little Proust fantasy When I think really what this book is about the answer is almost worse then saying it's about France to people who never heard of the author Instead it's about a couple of parties and a little bit of stuff that happens before them Of course the characters and description given to these couple of parties is so fucking good you might find yourself cursing Proust a little bit when he switches gears and goes back into his internalized bits but after a few pages of inner monologue I always found myself in following the words with a rapt attention Now on to Cities of the Plain