Thursday, April 1, 2021

“That unreal part”

M. Brichot is a member of the Verdurins’ little clan of salonistes. The Verdurins, “the Patrons,” lived in the rue Montalivet until an accident (fire?) destroyed their house. They later rented a summer place, La Raspelière, in Balbec. Now back in Paris, they live in a townhouse on the Quai Conti. Brichot points the narrator to the far end of a room in the townhouse: “That might just give you an idea of what the rue Montalivet house was like twenty-five years ago.”

Marcel Proust, The Prisoner, trans. Carol Clark (London: Penguin, 2003).

And now I’m thinking of places I can see again only in memory.

Related reading
All OCA Proust posts (Pinboard)

[Fire is my informed guess. Mme Verdurin to a guest: “I don’t mind your smoking, of course, if it weren’t for the carpet, which is a very fine one. Not that that matters either, but it would catch fire very easily, I’m terribly afraid of fire and I wouldn’t want you all to be roasted alive just because somebody dropped a cigarette end.”]

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