Thursday, November 09, 2006

Time Regained - post IV

War inevitably brings death, excess and a chance for some to make money - all ingredients of the days reading

Bullet points between pages 850 - 920

* Having seen M. de Charlus being held in chains and abused and beaten Marcel has satisfied his curiosity and really doesn't need to stay in the hotel, which is acting as a gay brothel, so he goes downstairs and asks to settle the bill

* As he is waiting with the men hired to satisfy the customers Jupien appears and is in sick that Marcel is there and takes him into a secret room and from there Marcel can see Charlus leaving and paying the  men for their services

* Jupien then comes into see him and says that he has no remorse about making money in this way because he also shares the same tastes and says to Marcel that if he ever wanted to share them he would be welcome

* You almost miss it but a medal is found outside the hotel and then as he gets home Marcel is greeted by Francoise who tells him that Saint-Loup has been there asking if he dropped his medal earlier on

* Marcel is then struck by grief after being informed that Saint-Loup has been killed in action coveringthee retreat of his men and stays in his room for days - a grief that is also shared by Gilberte

* Marcel then seems to go away because of illness again and the story returns to Paris after the war and Charlus is a white haired invalid being looked after by Jupien

Then around page 900, or 200 pages in for those reading a standalone volume, Proust has his Road to Damascus moment and suddenly understands what he could write about

* On his way to a social evening at the Guermantes home he has a series of movements and sounds that remind him of places he has been to in the past and he realises that he could write about the past rather than waiting to find some sort of inspiration from the present

* You can see his mind working and he shares his raison d'etre with the reader making it also interesting for those readers with aspirations of their own in the literary sphere

More tomorrow...

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