Web Cowgirl 衛 思 維 (webcowgirl) wrote,
Web Cowgirl 衛 思 維

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Proust: a classic because people never change

So I've been in the middle of this thirty page buildup to someone getting his come-uppance from a group of people that he had thought to be his friends - but apparently only insofar as any one of them can keep the slightly psychotic hostess of this group happy. She's arranging this man's downfall, and when it happens, rather than displaying the brilliant wit and social power he has to destroy this woman and her group, he just kind of ... withers away and doesn't do a thing to save friendships he could have rescued with the merest of attempts to clear things up in person. Here's the quote from The Prisoner and the Fugitive:

"It is true that he could have [...solved everything] by asking Morel to talk to him for a few minutes. But he thought it would be beneath his dignity ... There is almost always, attached to the idea of a conversation that might clear up a misunderstanding, some other idea which for one reason or another makes us reluctant to have that conversation. The man who has backed down and shown weakness in twenty different circumstances, will stand on his pride the twenty-first time, the only time when it would have been useful not to dig his heels in and dispel a misapprehension that can only grow stronger in his adversary for want of an explanation." (Prisoner, p. 294.)

What I find so great about Proust is that even though so much has changed since the time in which this novel has set, human nature has remained exactly as he described it. J pointed out that maybe this is why it is a classic; and while I think there are many other reasons one might say that of this novel, truly, his insightful understandings of people and their weaknesses make Remembrance a still-timely read.

Am full of sake and Japanese food now - left work at 7:30 PM. Tired. Happy Saturday, everyone.
Tags: prisoner and the fugitive, proust
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