Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Proust: Norwegian fjords

This Proust post is for my friend Norman in Norway:

Well, at this point in the social calendar, when anyone invited the Duchesse de Guermantes to dine - with great urgency, in case she was already engaged - she would turn down the invitation with the one excuse that no society person would ever have thought of: she was about to set off on a cruise - "Quite fascinating, my dear!" - of the Norwegian fjords. Society people were thunderstuck by this, and, without any notion of following the Duchesse's example, nevertheless derived from her project the sense of relief you get when you read Kant, and when, after the most rigorous demonstration of determinism, it transpires that above the world of necessity there is the world of freedom.
Marcel Proust, The Guermantes Way, translated by Mark Treharne (New York: Penguin, 2002), 474

Link: Proust posts, via Pinboard

comments: 2

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. Speaking of Kant, here is one of my favorite quotations on him, It's by John Gray, who quotes Schopenhauer on Kant: "'I should liken Kant to a man at a ball, who all evening has been carrying on a love affair with a masked beauty in the vain hope of making a conquest, when at last she throws off her mask and reveals herself to be his wife.' In Schopenhauer's fable the wife masquerading as an unknown beauty was Christianity. Today it is humanism...
Philosophy has been a masked ball in which a religious image of humankind is renewed in the guise of humanist ideas of progress and enlightenment. "

Michael Leddy said...

Hi Norman!

What a great quotation (with a quotation within it, no less).