10.31.2017

The Captive V 552-614

p 554 | vetiver: a fragrant grass, related to sorghum; similar to lemongrass & citronella.

p 554 | Saint-Jean-de-la-Haise (Normandy, nw France); Gourville (Charente, sw France)

p 609 | Manon is a comic opera in 5 acts by Jules Massenet, to a French libretto by Henri Meilhac and Philippe Gille, based on the 1731 novel L’histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut by the Abbé Prévost. It was first performed at the Opéra-Comique in Paris in 1884.

p 614 | Mallarmé's The Swan (Great discussion here, if you have time)
The poem, which opens with one of the most famous lines in French literature, has the reputation of being very difficult. First, the original text:

Le vierge, le vivace et le bel aujoud'hui
Va-t-il nous déchirer avec un coup d'aile ivre
Ce lac dur oublié que hante sous le givre
Le transparent glacier des vols qui n'ont pas fui!

Un cygne d'autrefois se souvient que c'est lui
Magnifique mais qui sans espoir se délivre
Pour n'avoir pas chanté la region ou vivre
Quand du stérile hiver a resplendi l'ennui.

Tout son col secouera cette blanche agonie
Par l'espace infligée a l'oiseau qui le nie,
Mais non l'horreur du sol où le plumage est pris.
Fantôme qu'à ce lieu son pur éclat assigne,

Il s'immobilise au songe froid de mépris
Que vêt parmi l'exil inutile le Cygne.

******************************************
Can the virgin, beautiful and vivid day
Release this frosted and forgotten lake,
With a drunk blow of wings to reel away 
In névés of flights they have yet to make?

Without song or recognition, the image burns
Tediously into the surrounding cold.
Yet always the magnificence, and the long neck yearns
Beyond the white hardness of the winter's hold.

Fast though feathers be caught in soiling mud,
From a horror of life the bird sails on,
Cold and improbable in its own pure being,
A scorching pure whiteness in the glacial flood:

A dream wrapped in scorn, and a phantom, seeing
How futile is exile for the Swan.

10.29.2017

The Captive V 531-52

p 531 | The Ambrosian Library: The Biblioteca Ambrosiana is a historic library in Milan, Italy, also housing the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, the Ambrosian art gallery.

p 531 | Fortuny in Tiepolo pink: 

p 545 | Luxembourg Gallery = Musée du Luxembourg (Paris)

p 545 | Fourteenth of July = Bastille Day, French National Day, celebrated on July 14th each year.

p 547 | ...steeple of Saint-Hilaire.... (really Saint-Jacques in Illiers-Combray)


p 552 | Les Rochers: The 15th century Gothic mansion known as the Château des Rochers-Sévigné was the former residence of Madame de Sévigné in Brittany.

Château des Rochers-Sévigné (photo Luna04 wiki)

9.29.2017

The Captive V 511-31

Photo: Georges Jansoone
p 512 | Creation of Woman (Eve) at Orvieto Cathedral (probably by Maitani). 

 p 514 | Jean-Philippe Rameau (French Baroque composer, 1683–1764); Alexander Borodin (Russian Romantic composer, 1833–87).

p 515 | Saint Cecilia is the patroness of musicians. While details of her story appear fictional, her existence & martyrdom are considered historical fact. A number of musical compositions are dedicated to her, and her feast day, November 22, became the occasion for concerts & musical festivals. |

p 516 | Bernardino Luini (c. 1480/82 – 1532) was a North Italian (Milanese) painter from Leonardo's circle, said to have worked with Leonardo directly.

p 517 | Giorgione (c. 1477/8–1510) was an Italian painter of the Venetian school in the High Renaissance, whose career was ended by his death at about 30. He is known for the elusive poetic quality of his work, though only about six surviving paintings are affirmatively acknowledged to be his.

Blue & gold Fortuny gown lined in pink (V 531)

8.09.2017

The Captive V 501-11

p 501 | Pianola (player piano); a Velasquez Infanta, for example Infanta Margarita Teresa in a Pink Dress (attributed);

p 503 | Sacred Variation for the Organ = from Vinteuil's septet at the Verdurin's.

p 506 | Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly (1808–89) was a French novelist and short story writer.

p 508 | Fyodor Dostoyevsky, 1821-81, Russian novelist. His novels: The Idiot (1868), Crime and Punishment (1866), The Brothers Karamazov (1880)

p 509 | Mihály Munkácsy (1844 – 1900) was a Hungarian painter, specializing in genre pictures and large-scale biblical paintings.

p 511 | Pierre Choderlos de Laclos (1741-1801) was a French novelist, best known for the 1782 epistolary novel Les Liaisons dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons).  Stéphanie Félicité, Madame de Genlis (1746–1830) was a French writer.
  The Night Watch by Rembrandt.




8.07.2017

The Captive V 444-501

La Tour
p 454 | Casser le pot à quelqu'un: "le sodomiser" (Dictionnaire de l'argot, Larousse, 1990). This is the only mention of by Albertine of anal sex. Although the explanation that follows suggests that the expression may have been used by lesbians to denote penetrative sex in general. (Sturrock) 

p 470| Maurice de La Tour (1704-88) was a French Rococo portraitist who worked primarily with pastels. Among his most famous subjects were Voltaire, Rousseau, Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour.

p 485 | "... mediaeval Last Judgments..."; logarithmic tables.

p 487 | Albert I, Prince of Monaco, 1848-1922Théophile Delcassé (French foreign minister, 1898-1905;  hated Germany).

p 497 | Treaty of Utrecht 1713 (King Louis XIV); Pont-aux-Choux silver designs... maybe something like this:

Bakst
p 497 | Jacques Roettiers, 18-century French gold/silversmith; Jeanne Bécu, Comtesse du Barry (1743-93) was the mistress of King Louis XV.  Josep Maria Sert (also José María Sert y Badía, Catalan painter, 1874-1945); Léon Bakst, Russian painter & set designer, 1866–1924; Alexandre Benois, Russian painter & ballet designer, 1870–1960.

p 501 | Winged Victory of Samothrace (ancient Greek sculpture in the Louvre)