Short summary - The Captive - Marcel Proust - Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust

French literature summaries - 2021

Short summary - The Captive
Marcel Proust - Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust

Marcel, tormented by passion and jealousy, imprisoned Albertina in his apartment. When the jealousy subsided, he realized that he no longer loved his girlfriend. In his opinion, she had grown very ugly and in any case could not reveal anything new to him. When jealousy flared up again, love turned into torment. Before it seemed to Marcel that Gomorrah was in Balbec, but in Paris he became convinced that Gomorrah had spread all over the world. One day Albertine, without opening her eyes, gently called Andre, and all of Marcel's suspicions revived. Only the sleeping girl aroused his former delight - he admired her like Elstir's canvases, but at the same time he was tormented by the fact that she was slipping into the realm of dreams. Physical intimacy did not bring satisfaction, for Marcel longed to have a soul that was in no way given in his hands. In fact, this connection became an onerous burden: constant supervision required his presence, and he could not fulfill his old dream - to go to Venice. But Albertine's kiss had the same healing power as my mother’s kiss in Combra.

Marcel was convinced that the girl was constantly lying to him - sometimes even for no reason. For example, she said she saw Bergot on the very day the old writer died. Bergot was ill for a long time, almost never left the house and received only his closest friends. One day he came across an article about Vermeer's painting "View of Delft" with a description of the amazing yellow wall. Bergotte adored Vermeer, but did not remember this detail. He went to the exhibition, glared at the yellow spot, and then the first blow overtook him. The old man nevertheless reached the couch, and then slid to the floor - when he was lifted, he was dead.

At the Guermantes mansion, Marseille often met Baron de Charlus and Morel, who went to drink tea at Jupien's. The violinist fell in love with the vest's niece, and the baron encouraged this connection - it seemed to him that a married Morel would be more dependent on his generosity. Wanting to introduce the favorite into high society, de Charlus arranged a reception at the Verdurins - the violinist was supposed to play the septet of Venteuil, saved from oblivion by his daughter's friend, who did a titanic work, figuring out the squiggles of the late composer. Marcel listened to the septet in mute reverence: thanks to Venteuil, he discovered unknown worlds for himself - only art is capable of such insights.

De Charlus behaved like a host, and his distinguished guests did not pay any attention to Madame Verdurin - only the Queen of Naples treated her kindly out of respect for her relative. Marcel knew that the Verduren had turned Morel against the baron, but did not dare to intervene. An ugly scene took place: Morel publicly accused his patron of trying to seduce him, and de Charlus froze in amazement in the "pose of a frightened nymph." However, the Queen of Naples quickly put in place the upstarts who dared to offend one of the Guermantes. And Marcel returned home, full of anger towards Albertine: now he understood why the girl asked so much to let her go to the Verdurins - in this salon she could meet with Mademoiselle Ventheuil and her friend without hindrance.

The constant reproaches of Marcel led to the fact that Albertina refused to kiss him three times goodnight. Then she suddenly softened and tenderly said goodbye to her lover. Marcel fell asleep peacefully, for he made the final decision - tomorrow he will go to Venice and get rid of Albertina forever. In the morning, Françoise, with undisguised pleasure, announced to the owner that Mademoiselle had packed her bags and left.