Swann's Way: Swann in Love: Margaret Dumont: 09/11/09
I'm on my 11th week of reading Swann's Way (Du côté de chez Swann). I'm up to page 330.
Most of these thirty pages focus on Odette and her tightening grip on Charles Swann. Odette is an accomplished a seductress and in that regard is a perfect match for Swann. Though she is lacking in intelligence, beauty and social grace she captures Swann's attention and he will soon fall under her spell.
At this point though, he is still acting semi-independently. Swann breaks up his dates with Odette with other flings. She put on a show of hysterics and when that doesn't work, she leaves without him. It is the leaving that rattles Swann. The absence of Odette makes him long for her more violently than he ever expected he would or could.
Since the relationship is not cemented yet and both parties are acting absurd at times, I was reminded of the on screen shtick between Groucho Marx and Margaret Dumont over a course of many films. She typically played the high society lady who is either a sponsor or in some other way desirable to whatever character Grouch is playing. They are always so very different and so very stubborn that they end up in verbal fisticuffs with Marx going for a string of increasingly silly non sequiturs and Dumont growing all the more flustered and indignant.
The image I'm using is her playing Mrs. Claymore from A Night at the Opera (1935).
Swann's Way posts:
Lisa's First Word, Baby Mine, I Sing the Body Electric, The Lady in Pink, Bleeding Gums Murphy, Caturday, Cherry Blossoms, Marge Simpson, Liana Telfer, Bender in Love, Margaret Dumont, Hyacinth Bucket, Rose, Mildred Krebs, Pepé Le Pew, Jack Harness, Cordelia Chase, Saffron, Thomas O'Malley.
Within a Budding Grove posts:
Nanowrimo, Cheers, Robert Langdon, Kif and Amy, Dead Weight, Clark Kent, Lex Luthor, Paris is a Lonely Town, And Then There's Maude, A Cafe Terrace at Night, North by Northwest, Top Hat, Chez Deetz, Ah, My Goddess!, David, Auntie Mame, Brunhilde Esterhazy, Gusteau's, Shell Beach.
books | fiction | Marcel Proust | 1913