The author introduces the theme of homosexuality, with sympathy for the pain and frustration it causes those whose sexual nature is condemned by society, and who are obliged to live lives of secrecy and duplicity.
In Search of Lost Time
Within a Budding Grove
The Guermantes Way
Sodom and Gomorrah
A Guide to Proust --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Even his beloved Duchesse de Guermantes "allowed the azure light of her eyes to float in front of her, but vaguely, so as to avoid the people with whom she did not wish to enter into relations, whose presence she discerned from time to time like a menacing reef in the distance."
Marcel retreats from the social whirl and returns to Balbec, the scene of WITHIN A BUDDING GROVE. There he takes up again with Albertine and, after hobnobbing with the Guermantes, now joins Mme Verdurin's "little band" of opinionated second-raters. This was the same salon at which Swann had met Odette in SWANN'S WAY. You may recall that Swann discovered that Odette was multiply unfaithful to him, yet married her anyway.
In SODOM AND GOMORRAH, it is Marcel who is drawn ever closer to Albertine. As the book draws to a close, he discovers from a chance remark that Albertine claims close friendship with two lesbians one of whose trysts Marcel had witnessed years before in Combray. Just as Swann had agonized just before deciding to wed Odette, Marcel sees the death of his hopes and of any chance for joy in his young life.
"As by an electric current that gives us a shock, I have been shaken by my loves. I have lived them. I have felt them: never have I succeeded in seeing or thinking them. Indeed I am inclined to believe that in these relationships ...Read more ›