Swann’s Way post IV

A more positive day on the reading front because I read through lunch to make up some more pages.

Bullet points between 205 – 300

* The third chapter of Swann’s Way moves location again to the social world of the Verdurin’s and into this world Swann is invited. The chapter is entitled ‘Swann in Love’ and your initial thoughts are of a woman but it seems it might be something different as Swann develops a longing for a piece of music

* It also becomes plain that the narrative voice has changed to one reporting back on second hand information that Swann has given him rather than something that the narrator has experienced themselves

* Swann is allowed to join the Verdurin’s little clan, which includes a painter, pianist and a doctor, but makes things awkward after he drops into conversation some of the influential contacts he has, which Madame Verdurin can’t compete with

* Swann goes to the evenings at the Verdurin’s with a woman called Odette, who he is two-timing with a maid. He starts to think that he is wasting his time with her but one night when she isn’t at the gathering he seems to realise how much her absence pains him

* He finally finds her and she is alarmed at his behavior he is gripped with passion and she surrenders herself under his fumblings and caresses and then people start to notice that Swann has changed an no longer goes into society or chases women instead spending most nights in Odette’s company

* The love of Odette is combined with the love of the musical piece he heard at the Verdurin’s and he makes her play it to him sometimes twenty times over losing himself in the moment and lifting himself out of his barren life

* His love for Odette is consuming but it starts to open up from intense evenings and their differences, jealousies and different attitudes to society start to indicate that when the honeymoon period is over there will not be much love there

* In a very uncomfortable moment Swann, who has kept his inner thoughts to himself, is challenged by the group and because of his show of knowing other people and intelligence they start to turn against him

* Odette starts to become a kept woman with only money as the link between them although Swann is paralyzed by her still and he is unable to react even as he falls out of favour with the Verdurin’s and with Odette

* One night his jealousy overpowers him and he sneaks back to her house and believes he has discovered her with another man and knocks on the shutters only to discover it is the wrong house

In a strange way the book has been leading up to this focus on Swann and it is a noticeable change from the innocent dreams and observations of the first couple of chapters. This is now a much more adult type of fantasy with lust and jealousy dominant emotions.

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