The Captive & The Fugitive

he Modern Library ’ s ifth volume of In Search of Lost Time contains both he Captive ( 1923) and he Fugitive ( 1925). In he Captive, Proust ’ s narrator describes living in his grandmothe ’ s Paris apartment with his boyfriend, Albertine, and the falling out of love with her. In he Fugitive, the narrator loses Albertine forever. Rich with humor, The Captive and The Fugitive inspire meditations on desire, sexual love, music, and the art of introspection.

For this authoritative English-language edition, D. J. Enright has revised the late Terence Kilmartin ’ s acclaimed reworking of C. K. Scott Moncrieff ’ s translation to take into account the new definitive French editions of Á la recherché du temps perdu ( the final volume of these new editions was published by the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade in 1989).
Year of the Publication
Available Languages
Number of Pages
Original Title of the Book
La Prisonnière & Albertine Disparue (À la recherche du temps perdu, #5-6)
Publication Date
Published February 16th 1999 by Modern Library (first published 1925

Public Commentary

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If you have come thus far in this search for time lost, here you may sa that, as unfeasible as it may appea, this is in fact but a part of a single work, one that built and built and has finally tarted to wind its way slowly down trains of thought already distilled, running on rails made efficient by readerly familiarity.

For if there 's one thing to be said about having one 's lifelong pursuits come to nothing, it 's the resulting perspective and all the changes fortified on it.In shorter, simpler terms, the narratio in the course of this 'chapter' of this over four thousand page 'novel' is reaching the aging complacency of been there, done that, but is not only quite fully there.

As this is Proust, what would generall be sketched out in a few sentences in other pieces of fiction is rhapsodized on for hundreds of pages, and what would merit only a passing glance is here expanded on to a glorious extent, to he point that one an not simply read the changes the narrator 's thought patterns undergo, the return of so many figures of his youth long ago given up for good, the functionalit of experience painstakingly incorporated into the character to current circumstance, the slow giving way of future hopes to a more thoughtful measuring of the mix of past and present, but feel them.

Past and future are beginning to coalesce within his grasp, and he present is becoming ess of a search and more of a complex interchange between self, time, and circumstance with every passing instance; a newness less pristine, a habit less condemned.The sun has begun to set on the stage of this lengthy exploration of color, love, society, leaving a narrator beginning to understand that not all lost opportunities are worth forever mourning, that the paths of life led thus far are no less valuable for not having adhered to a past plan of action, however seemingly frivolous in nature or wasteful in scope of time.

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separately because even though modern library publishes them together in one volume, i do n't pretend to lose this high i am on after reading the captive.

but th character being who he is, he akes it a little too far and becomes freaking crazy with it, anting the other person to kee break in order to assuage his guilt; thinking and thinking and thinking and strategizing.

but along the way, making some really astute commentaries on human relationships and the love process.i started out with his one, like all the rest, going bookmark-crazy every time i came across thi passage i thought was lovely or reminiscent of something in my own life, but if i had kept it up, there could have een a bookmark on every page.

at one point, i ealized it was getting out of control, and i just gave up and decided- the whole thing is a bookmark.a number of relationships come to end in this volume- all handled rather poorly, and all fairly devastating.

i wa an english teacher in high school who would distill every book we read to two phrases: it was " an allegory of society ", or it represented " the universality of mankind ", which really made any sense to me.

and proust writes them reall well, it dredges up every memory i had of every failed relationship, but in th good, " phew " way.and that ending!

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Hovering in the background of this tragicomedy is the questions of 'What induces people to abandon happiness in pursuit of the aestheticism ( or in other words sadomasochism)?' and 'How to reveal the hidden drives?'.

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I ’ ve attempted ( this is already generous) to review each volume of In Search of Lost Time, but every time I finish reading one, I look like I should just skip it this time around.

I ’ m afrai to meander like this for awhile because the truth is that couple unusual circumstances make it ery eas to review this two-volume set.First, these volumes represent the late-middle part of one book and there are some major spoilers, although they probably wouldn ’ t be recognized as such unless you were currently somewhere between volumes three and four.

Although it ’ s early impossible to review any specific aspect of The Fugitive without giving something important away, and despite the fact that his as irst volume where the narrator ’ s major emotions and thoughts were somewhat foreign to me based on my own ( lack of) life experiences, I was consistently moved just the same.

Part ( b) to this second reason of review difficulty has to do with Proust ’ s diagnosi of jealousy, one of The Prisoner ’ s ( and the whol boo ’ s) major themes.

While jealousy has not been a significant part of my life for some time, this hasn ’ t even been the case, and startin with Swann ’ s Way, Proust pried loose many painful memories that I ’ ve begun scrutinizing for the third time in day.

At the nd of The Fugitive, things are suddenly rushed ( you read that right), and anothe nove put a quick turn that makes the ntire boo seem as if it ’ s half over rather than nearly finished.

I ’ ve entirely given myself over to Proust ’ s work, and from this I continue to reap personal, philosophical, and emotional rewards of which I wa no previously imagined.

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Early on in The Captive ( in which Albertine is installed in Marcel 's family 's apartments so that he an, out of his anxiety that it is some other woman and not himself whom she oves, keep tabs on her), Proust makes the following observation: Sweet, gay, innocent moments to all appearance, and yet moments in which there gathers the unsuspected possibility of disaster, which give the amorous life the most precarious of all, that in which the unpredictable rain of sulphur and brimstone falls after the most radiant moments, whereupon, without having the heart or the will to draw a lesson from our misfortune, we set to work at once to rebuild upon the slopes of the crater from which nothing but catastrophe can emerge.

Proust says elsewhere that learning that happiness can not last is a key lesson to teac, and ven claims that if Albertine had not left him he would nly have known half of life.Indeed, the ord " half " figures prominently in these two volumes, as people are always half-awake, half-asleep, lips are half-open to receive a lover 's kiss, or eyes are half-closed to the half-light that reveals two lovers intertwined against a wall, or girls on the street are " half-human, half-winged creatures, angel or peri " ( Persian mythical creatures of ambiguous valence).

Thi only pat to deal with he book would be to re-read the darn thing, over& over, without end ( as a favourite professor of mine did, with both ISOLT and Ulysses on his bedside table, taking turns), taking in each partial truth partially, so that we approach but never arrive at true heart of things….We live in parts, but our tyrant, that restless, relentless, sadistic colonizer, love, " is a demand for a whole " that an ever be fully met.

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Though these segments of Proust 's novel are bundled together, I 'm oing to treat them as separate entities: Though there are of course great moments- the first reveal, 3,300 pages in, of heroine 's name, which is like the sun bursting through a foggy afternoon; the cliffhanger ending; the reappearance of certain traits of Marcel 's great-aunt in Combray- THE CAPTIVE is my personal low point of I.S.o.L.T., a shor, obsessive meander through the rotagonist 's most frustrating tendencies ( jealousy, homophobia).

The sudden flowering of action and time and location ( I wo n't spoil it) is perfect counterbalance to THE CAPTIVE, and more importantly, continues the work of SODOM AND GOMORRAH in rounding out the novel 's plot.

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