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Swann's Way: Swann in Love: The Many Faces of Captain Jack Harkness: 10/16/09

Captain Jack Harkness as he first appeared

I'm on my 16th week of reading Swann's Way (Du côté de chez Swann). I'm up to page 480. In four more weeks, I will have finished this book!

In the thirty pages from 450 to 480, there are two distinct scenes. The first follows Charles Swann from his point of view as he attends an event. I think this is the first time we've been this deep into his head. The second scene (which will continue with next week's reading) is at a party where Swann isn't attending but is the topic of conversation.

Charles Swann it would seem has just as many secrets as his beloved Odette. He is a man of independent means who has an insatiable sexual appetite. So far his tastes have been for women, any woman but now in seeing things through his eyes, one begins to wonder if his tastes are broader than that. On page 459 he pauses for a long time to take in the sight of the "pack of tall, magnificent, idle footmen." One of the footmen returns his look with a ferocity that is tempered by the "softness of his cotton gloves." (p. 460)

With those exchanged looks I snapped on Captain Jack Harkness who first appeared in "The Empty Child" and "The Doctor Dances" episodes of Doctor Who. He has since appeared a few more times in Doctor Who and is a main character on the spin-off Torchwood. Besides the Doctor whom we've seen go through nine regenerations and therefore evolve over the decades as a character, Captain Jack is the next character to have changed so much. Just as Charles Swann begins in the book as an incurable play boy who is broken by Odette over the course of the book, Jack is never quite the same after his adventures with the Doctor. Both characters are fundamentally changed by their time with the people they love but don't love them back.

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.

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