Swann’s Way post II

Sadly again didn’t get to read as much as I would have liked but got the chance to go up to London and hear about how I should be reading a novel (see next post) so here are today’s bullet points

Bullet points between pages 80 – 145

The narrator finishes sketching out the town – his universe at that young age – and then starts to delve more deeply into the daily lives of his family and their acquaintances at that time

He draws on his memory not only to paint a picture of buildings but also colours and smells and this initial part of the second chapter feels like reading a dream and almost as quickly as you read a page you forget the details

He declares his interest in the theatre; even though his parents forbid him from going, and he is introduced to a woman he takes for an actress when he visits his Uncle. The woman is probably a prostitute and afterwards the family rebuke the Uncle for introducing the boy to her and in the street the narrator can’t bear to look at him and the Uncle cuts his ties with the family

The boy loves reading Bergotte but nobody else seems to share his passion and what spoils it even more is that the writer is a family friend of Swann and he is not part of that intimate circle

The routine of the week – particularly Saturdays when the family eats an hour earlier – is forced by the demands of the bedridden aunt and as she show favour with money to an old dear the maid Francoise becomes jealous of the money being showered on people that are not worth it and some sort of stand-off seems inevitable

The father and son meet M Legrandin and he blanks them and after some investigations, the boy asks him over a private dinner, it turns out he is a snob and does not want his wealthy friends to know that he knows middle class working people

As the narrator and his grandmother prepare for a long stay on the coast near Brittany M Legrandin refuses to acknowledge he has a sister who lives a couple of miles from where they are going and upsets the relationships with the family even further

More to come tomorrow – what will happen at the coast? Will the aunt ever get out of bed and will Francoise’s jealousy boil over?…

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