Saturday, June 18, 2011

At the top of page 182 of this week's assignment, Proust refers to Swann as "the hero of one of his novels" and then mentions the Tissot painting of the Rue Royale Club. I find the text here a bit confusing. Proust is addressing "you" - presumably (?) Swann: "...and yet, dear Charles Swann, whom I knew so little when I was so young and you so near the grave..." But then the paragraph ends "...there is something of you in the character of Swann." To whom is he speaking ? The note (no. 38) for this text clears it up a bit, saying that Charles Haas, generally assumed to be the model for Swann, is in the Tissot painting. But Proust never mentions Haas on p 181 - 182.

[En francais:
"Et pourtant, cher Charles Swann, que j’ai connu quand j’étais encore si jeune et vous près du tombeau, c’est parce que celui que vous deviez considérer comme un petit imbécile a fait de vous le héros d’un de ses romans, qu’on recommence à parler de vous et que peut-être vous vivrez ». Si dans le tableau de Tissot représentant le balcon du Cercle de la rue Royale, où vous êtes entre Galliffet, Edmond de Polignac et Saint-Maurice, on parle tant de vous, c’est parce qu’on voit qu’il y a quelques traits de vous dans le personnage de Swann. "]

In any case, here (I hope!) is a link to the painting. Charles Haas is standing on the far right.

(It seems the links I've posted in the past haven't worked. I've checked this one twice, and it takes me to the painting - hope it does the same for others.)

[Here is a link that I can see: -- ge]

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