Proust, Marcel. Remembrance of Things Past. Translated by C. K. Scott Moncrieff. Modern Library, 1956.
Reason read: to continue the series started in November in honor of Proust.
Whatever you want to call this volume of Remembrance of Things Past, whether it be “The Prisoner” or “The Captive”, it is also for obvious reasons called “The Albertine Novel.” In the beginning of “The Captive/Prisoner” Albertine is the narrator’s mistress. As soon as she wants to visit friends he (as narrator finally named Marcel at times) bribes Albertine with furs and jewels to make her stay in his family’s Paris apartment. There he keeps a close eye on her. Despite this possessive nature, he (Marcel) soon grows tired of Albertine but cannot completely let her go, hence the title of prisoner or captive. He becomes progressively more jealous, possessive, obsessive to the point of borderline psychotic worrying and wondering about who Albertine is with, male or female. Her confession of a friendship with lesbians forces Marcel to stoop to spying to see if she has relationships with other women. As usual, Proust has his finger squarely on the pulse of human nature. Albertine is the epitome of freedom while Marcel embodies jealousy and rage.
Sadly, because I had to switch to another publication, this version does not have the beautiful and whimsical illustrations of the other volumes.
Lines to like, “People who learn some accurate detail of another person’s life at once deduce consequences which are not accurate, and see in the newly discovered fact an explanation of things that have no connexion with it whatsoever” (p 2).
Book trivia: The Prisoner was published posthumously. The next book to read is The Past Recaptured.
Nancy said: Pearl didn’t say anything specific about “The Captive” or “The Prisoner.”
BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “Romans-Fleuves” (p 208).