Sunday, November 12, 2006

Time Regained - post VI

“How much more worth living did it appear to me now, now that I seemed to see that this life that we live in half-darkness can be illuminated, this life that at every moment we distort can be restored to its true pristine shape, that a life, in short, can be realised within the confines of a book! How happy would he be, I thought, the man who had the power to write such a book!”pg 1086

What a journey. Sometimes it has been hard going and there have been moments of laughter, tragedy and pain but the mammoth Remembrance of Things Past comes to an end.

Bullet points between pages 970 – 1107

* Everyone seems to have changed with age with some of the old characters almost unrecognisable including Bloch and Morel and the Guermantes world has changed because the Princess has died and the prince has married Madame de Verdurin

* Some of the old guard are dying out and those who are alive can’t seem to remember what happened in the past so play it safe with some forgetting their exact relationships with Marcel

* He meets Gilberte and they talk about Robert and she asks him why he has come to such a large party and he thinks to himself that in the future he will devote himself to a life of solitude and writing his book

* The fortunes of the actresses Berma and Rachel have been swapped and in the end the great actresses daughter even goes after Rachel and once Berma is told of that social disgrace she slips into her grave

* Marcel concludes that time is what influences the social position with your star rising across a limited generation and depending on your entry into public life it determines who you know and mix with

“…life is perpetually weaving fresh threads which link one individual and one event to another, and that these threads are crossed and recrossed, double and redoubled to thicken the web, so that between any slightest point of our past and all the others a rich network of memories gives us an almost infinite variety of communicating paths to choose from.”pg 1088

* Meeting Gilberte and Saint-Loup’s sixteen year-old daughter has a massive impact on him and makes him think about his own mortality and the challenge he has set himself to write a book – will his health last and will he live long enough to finish it become the obsessions filling his mind as he tries to shut out the voices around him at the Guermantes party

Of course he managed it – sadly he never really lived long enough to enjoy the achievement – and a full review of Time Regained will be posted in the next few days and then I will post thoughts about the whole epic Remembrance of Things Past later in the week.

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