A movie log formerly known as Bookishness / By Charles Matthews

"Dazzled by so many and such marvelous inventions, the people of Macondo ... became indignant over the living images that the prosperous merchant Bruno Crespi projected in the theater with the lion-head ticket windows, for a character who had died and was buried in one film and for whose misfortune tears had been shed would reappear alive and transformed into an Arab in the next one. The audience, who had paid two cents apiece to share the difficulties of the actors, would not tolerate that outlandish fraud and they broke up the seats. The mayor, at the urging of Bruno Crespi, explained in a proclamation that the cinema was a machine of illusions that did not merit the emotional outbursts of the audience. With that discouraging explanation many ... decided not to return to the movies, considering that they already had too many troubles of their own to weep over the acted-out misfortunes of imaginary beings."
--Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Proust Project, Day 65

Where this began
Day 64

In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower (translated by James Grieve), pp. 465-.

From "On arriving at Elstir's..." to "...conditional on differing circumstances.'"

As the narrator becomes more involved with the gang of girls, the focus of his attention shifts from Albertine to first one and then another, from Gisèle to Rosemonde to Andrée. Gisèle, "the one who looked rather poor and tough," greets him with "a smile, open and affectionate and full of blue eyes." He is walking with Albertine and Andrée, who snub Gisèle, Andrée accusing her of "awful dishonesty" and Albertine referring to her as "a little pest." But on learning that Gisèle is leaving for Paris, the narrator decides to slip away and follow her: "Gisèle would not be surprised to to see me, and once we had changed trains at Doncières, we would have a corridor train to Paris; while the English governess dozed, I would have Gisèle all to myself.... I could have assured her with total veracity that I was no longer attracted to Albertine." 

But he misses the train, so he goes back to his pursuit of the other girls, "all of them having stayed on in Balbec." Gisèle "now could not have been further from my thoughts." He begins spending every day with them, making excuses not to go on a carriage ride with Mme. de Villeparisis, staying away from Elstir's studio unless the girls go there, breaking his promise to visit Saint-Loup. "The Andrée who had struck me to begin with as being the most unfriendly of them all was in fact much more sensitive, affectionate, and astute than Albertine." (Does it need to be pointed out that Andrée is the third girl he's fallen for who has the feminized version of a man's name?) He now finds in Albertine "something of the Gilberte I had known in the earliest days, the explanation of which is that there is a degree of resemblance between the women we love at different times." He also notes that "Andrée, who was extremely wealthy, showed great generosity in sharing her luxury with Albertine, who was poor and an orphan." 

In the company of the girls, he finally pays a visit to Elstir, where the talk turns to the artistic potential of "regattas and gatherings of sportsmen, where women are suffused by the glaucous glow of a seaside racecourse," to women's fashion, and to yachting.

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