By Giffard, Elbilia
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Extra info for 100 exercices nouveaux pour progresser aux échecs, tome 2
46 For Proust and his contemporaries the chauffeur and the aviator were linked in an evolutionary way. To them the progression from cyclist to chauffeur to pilot was an observable and logical one. The immediate mechanical progression from car to airplane was self-evident since the airplane was in many respects an automobile with wings. Proust’s frequent analogies describing a desirable cyclist who becomes airborne may owe something to the cycling competitions that the athletic Agostinelli—certainly an “homme moderne” in his zeal to become a pilot—must have frequented.
As is usually the case in myths, the Proustian voyage is a trial. What is new in Proust is the nature of the hero undergoing the trial. He is apparently a weakling, doomed to hypochondria and failure and plagued by self-doubts: Can he become a writer? Does he have what it takes? Will he begin in time? Seeking one thing, he always finds something else that is unexpected and initially misunderstood and disappointing. Berma’s acting, the seaside resort of Balbec, the salon of the duchesse de Guermantes, and the experience of erotic love are nothing like his anticipations of them.
The glamorous faubourg Saint-Germain is equally subject to the laws of time. As the Narrator observes in a grand period near the end of the novel: Ainsi change la figure des choses de ce monde; ainsi le centre des empires, et le cadastre des fortunes, et la charte des situations, tout ce qui semblait définitif est-il perpétuellement remanié, et les yeux d’un homme qui a vécu peuvent-ils contempler le changement le plus complet là où justement il lui paraissait le plus impossible. (III, 1019)55 Perpetual change and evolution is the great law of life.
100 exercices nouveaux pour progresser aux échecs, tome 2 by Giffard, Elbilia