Associated Subjects. Alternative Names. Cauffier, Louis Martin French Spanish 5 English 5. PQ, Advertisement Hide. The Novel and Europe. Front Matter Pages i-xiv. Pages Blowing Hot and Cold: Georgia and the West. I know Ruskin detested that novel, but I reconcile all these opposed deities in the Pantheon of my admiration.
Marcel reports M. Above the bed with copper curtainrods and entirely uncovered, on the naked walls of those hygienic rooms, [only] a few reproductions of masterpieces. V, —3. The next passage I quote is on pp. But at the time I did not care about its origin, which to me seemed historical and mysterious, and I did not imagine that there might have been several copies of what I thought of as a person, as a permanent inhabitant of the room I simply shared with him and where I found him every year always the same.
There is more still. The references to bare walls and copies of masterpieces spring from a mistranslation. Proust recognized the strength of the aesthetic movement in England, and the corresponding strength of its alliance with commerce; aestheticism in this passage has an English face; an English bedroom from the catalogue of a fashionable shop—impersonal and alienating—is conjured up as the antithesis of what is personal, familiar, and French.
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Indeed, scoffed at in Germany, hunted down in Holland, repulsed in Switzerland, exile in England seemed sweet to those who had been proscribed. Gratitude was certainly due; but even gratitude could be taken too far. The problem as Fitz-James sees it lies in the adoption by the French aristocracy of the costume or external features of its English counterpart, without understanding its spirit.
In an article published in , the English are said to like Proust because they are more patient than the French, and therefore better at reading long, rambling works of literature. Their predilection for England was kept within proper bounds; that of their children has degenerated into mindless imitation, whose effect has been to undermine their social position by allowing the promiscuous mingling of social classes. The word ici twice used in this passage is the rub: what is authentic in London turns to pastiche in Paris.
The very word jockey, enshrined in the name of le Jockey-Club, epitomizes the malady. The nobles of Versailles would not have prided themselves in forming part of a club of postillions, or of jockeys]. It makes excuses for the behaviour of the French royal family and nobility in the eighteenth century and none for their conduct in the nineteenth; she is especially bitter about Charles X, whom she accuses of patronizing Anglomania in its most frivolous form, and of spending more time restoring the fortunes of horse-racing than safeguarding his throne.
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Moreover, Fitz-James is not interested in the literary or cultural aspect of the social changes she describes. Nor is she interested in the extent to which the anglomanie of her own day—which is also that of A la recherche—had penetrated beyond the aristocracy, shaping the behaviour, the opinions, and the vocabulary of other social classes. Lastly, Fitz-James takes no account of the circulation of Englishness in French social culture through the medium of journalism. Nevertheless Fitz-James has grasped something essential about anglomanie, though she takes a very different view of it from Proust: namely its quality of play-acting, of mimicry, of social performance.
Proust, although he ridicules the affectation of Englishness many times in A la recherche, is by no means so unequivocal about the impulse towards social performance from which it springs. On a visit to Marcel, in perhaps the meanest moment of the entire novel, he is overheard giving poisonous advice to a servant on how to secure the dismissal of a rival IV, 53; V, —8.
The devil is the innocent party here. III, — III, I am interested in his defence of these translations solely for what it reveals about his actual knowledge of the English language. En quoi il se trompait. In which he was mistaken. She was an artist and sculptor who had studied at the Manchester School of Art. He recreated Ruskin in French; but he did not learn English in the process. Marcel Proust.
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Aside from the equivocal case of Richard Kurt, and with the unequivocal exception of Ruskin, he seems never to have read literary works in the original—he quotes from, or alludes to, many English writers, from Shakespeare to Kipling, but almost always in French. If you had added to you would have made all right] Corr. XXI, I hesitate to accuse Proust of perpetrating a macaronic pun to. III, xviii—xix. The limits of this knowledge, and the nature of the choices, are discernible from his use of English elsewhere in his work. In his correspondence it is virtually non-existent, apart from the use of the word poney as his private nickname in his letters to Reynaldo Hahn.
X, The motive for this macaronic note is mysterious, and there is nothing else like it. Whatever impulses swayed people at the time to mix English and French in their conversation or correspondence evidently had no effect on Proust.
Martin-Chauffier, Louis 1894-1980
But that does not mean that he did not take an interest in English words; indeed, it may imply the reverse. What of the Ruskin translations? In the unpublished pastiche of Ruskin I mention above n. XII, , , and XII, n. But in other places the correct form of the plural occurs, e. With some caution, I would suggest that Proust was aware of, and played on, the nuances of certain English words as they would appear to French readers, well before he began work on A la recherche. But, Ruskin goes on, this does not imply knowing, or trying to know, Greek or Latin, or French.
It takes a whole life to learn any language perfectly. As it happens he has not been to the house before, and so the usher has never had occasion to announce him. Mais M. Not that the young man had not shown himself as obliging as he had been generous. All the favours that the usher had supposed that he would have to bestow upon so young a gentleman, he had on the contrary received.
But M. I have altered Vintage to retain this necessary detail. See also next note. The Genius of Comedy has ensured that the smooth functioning of the social machine—the hierarchy in which the hapless Duke is so afraid of losing his place—will of itself engineer his downfall. But this is a benign farce, and the Duke is let off.
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In the anecdote of the Duke and the usher, English appears as a form of disguise—appropriate, as we have seen, for a French gay man in the period. Proust has found an ingenious, witty, and characteristically oblique way of declaring his ignorance of English—by inversion, so to speak his preferred term for homosexuality. Although Odette speaks in English to Gilberte, we are not given a sample of this conversation; the English we actually hear Odette speak consists of words and phrases incorporated into French sentences, and this is true of every other user of English in the novel, the narrator included.
Some English words in A la recherche are generated by circumstances— railway travel, for example—in which English vocabulary could hardly be avoided. Yet the distinction between such naturalized words bar, bifteck, budget, dandy, jury, puzzle, spleen, etc. Almost all such phrases are recent; few date to beyond I, ; I, Marcel gets drunk on the way to Balbec in the wagon-bar II, 12; I, English is not forgotten in the litany of pompous banalities uttered by M. Going to Balbec again? For more on Brichot, and on Gourmont, see Ch.