|Proust Captive & Fugitive Autumn 2017||Kentish Town||Eight weeks||12.10.17- 30.11.17||8-10 PM|
Every reader finds himself. The writer’s work is merely a kind of optical instrument that makes it possible for the reader to discern what, without this book, he would perhaps never have seen in himself. -Marcel Proust
After completing incredibly satisfying studies of Ulysses and Magic Mountain, we have turned to the next big mountain of Modernism, Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. A wonderful group has worked through the first four volumes, overturning ideas around intimacy, jealousy, perspective, history– now we continue through Vol. V: The Captive & The Fugitive (recommended edition: Vintage Classics, trans. C. K. Scott Moncrieff). This seven week study will consider the first half of the work.
The Proust study thus far has helped us to embrace the experience of slow reading and contemplation. Proust’s writing requires a wide awake mind as the reader is drawn into dissecting the world as it is experienced and the way our minds decorate and create memories, values and paradigms of understanding. This sounds so dry; the wonder is how deeply sensual Proust’s work is– he is most concerned with the experience of intimacy and how this dance between two beings is fractured and re-imagined through the lens of perception. This volume, in particular, explores the map of passions and the hidden constructions of desire.
Here are some comments from a keen reader on Goodreads: A continuation of themes from Sodom and Gomorrah,but more obsessive,more paranoid & bewildering – an intellectual s & m of sorts where the captor himself becomes the captive. Love was never an easy game.If Proust’s intention was to make the readers experience the claustrophobia of Marcel-Albertine relationship; he has greatly succeeded.
Three strands of thought stand out:
Albertine has lost her mystique,hence Marcel is bored. She is a captive; there’s no longer a sense of conquest.
Suddenly,some hint of a rendezvous,some hidden agenda,& Marcel’s jealousy rears its ugly head- Albertine must be safeguarded like a prized jewel- the wooing starts all over again.
Peace re-established,Marcel again loses interest in her & starts moping abt his lost opportunities with other girls,the demands on his time & attention which keeps him away from his artistic pursuits & so on:”(Albertine is) a treasure in exchange for which I had forfeited my freedom, my solitude, my thought.”
Now can you really blame Albertine for wanting to have some fun on the side?
If you have not been part of this journey so far & want to join this incredible group, please email me first to discuss joining the work part way through. There will be a new Proust study starting with Volume I in spring 2018. Here is how one Salonista describes the pleasure and work of reading Proust: ” This is a velvet jewel of a book that demands the attention of a lover full of enchantment and obsession ,we need not get impatient as all good lovers perfect their art in taking their time.”
Use the Paypal button below to register for the study and pay 145 pounds for the eight week study. The study starts 12th October running to end of November and will consider the rest of The Captive and The Fugitive.
Here is the reading schedule for end of Captive and completion of the Fugitive
EIGHT WEEKS—starting October 12th
NO MEETING OCTOBER 5th
FINAL MEETING 30th November
12.10 to page 423 “I noticed how weary and sad she was looking.”
19.10 to page 473 End of The Captive
2.11 pg. 477 to 531 in The Prisoner
9.11 to pg. 582
16. 11 to pg. 632 “…sun-drenched frehsness of a cluster of grapes..”
23. 11 to pg. 686: “…he combined in his person the snobbery of queens with the snobbery of servants.”
30. 11 to pg. 733—“…ready to move in the direction of the Rhine.” (break) 7.12 to pg. 793 end of The Prisoner
On to Time regained= 450 pages over 8 weeks (approx.. 55 pgs per week)—this has us finishing end of Feb or first few weeks of March 2018! (breaking over the winter holidays)