by Dennis Abrams
Davis: pages 68-82; Moncrieff: pages 91-110
The introduction of M. Legrandin, who professes his dislike of the aristocracy, fashionable life and snobbery which he claims is “certainly the sin which Saint Paul has in mind when he speaks of the sin for which there is no forgiveness.” Tante Leonie’s refusal to see those who dismiss her physical complaints as well as those who “seemed to believe she was more seriously ill than she thought, that she was as seriously ill as she said is she was. The sympathetic ear of Eulalie. Marcel’s love of the theater, or, more precisely, his love of the idea of the theater. Uncle Adolphe, the “lady in pink” and Marcel’s inability to anticipate his parent’s reaction to his meeting her at his uncle’s apartment.
In the scene describing Aunt Leonie’s anxiety waiting for Eulalie’s visit, we get a glimpse of what Roger Shattuck calls Proust’s “narrative of postponement and delay.” Marcel’s good-night kiss from his mother depends on his patience in waiting for it. In the madeleine sequence, the narrator “has to force himself to look again several times into himself and to relax his mind before he connects with the elusive memory of tea and cake.” (Shattuck)
And in today’s scene, “And since along with this Eulalie knew better than anyone else how to distract my aunt without tiring her, her visits, which took place regularly every Sunday, barring an unforseen obstacle, were for my aunt a pleasure, the prospect of which kept her on those day in a state that was at first pleasant, but quite soon painful like an excessive hunger, if Eulalie was even a little late. Over prolonged, this ecstasy of waiting for Eulalie became a torment, my aunt looked constantly at the time, yawned, felt faint. The sound of Eulalie’s chime, if it came at the very end of the day, when she was no longer expecting it, would almost make her ill.” (Davis)
The pleasure of anticipation can quickly turn to something else.
And, for a slightly different perspective on Proust and In Search of Lost Time,
Davis/p. 82 “And so I no longer went to my uncle Adophe’s sitting room…” through p. 92, “…that the image now appeared of one of the women I dreamed of.” Moncrieff/ p. 110 – 124.