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Les réflexions d'une proustienne sur sa vie, et en quoi elle lui rappelle dans des épisodes du quotidien des passages de "A la recherche du temps perdu", en Français et en Anglais

Question 4/36

Publié le 15 Mars 2015 par proust pour tous

Question 4/36

4. A quoi ressemble votre journée idéale ? je sais seulement qu'un des meilleurs souvenirs pour moi c'était avec Jules, à Amiens, où nous avions déjeuné à une terrasse de café au soleil, en attendant de visiter la cathédrale toute proche. Je lisais à voix haute une traduction de la Bible d'Amiens de John Ruskin, par Marcel Proust. Cette journée a été enchanteresse et j'aimerais la répéter, répéter, répéter.

Je descendais de voiture à Quetteholme, courais dans la raide cavée, passais le ruisseau sur une planche et trouvais Albertine qui peignait devant l'église toute en clochetons, épineuse et rouge, fleurissant comme un rosier. Le tympan seul était uni ; et à la surface riante de la pierre affleuraient des anges qui continuaient, devant notre couple du XXe siècle, à célébrer, cierges en mains, les cérémonies du XIIIe. C'était eux dont Albertine cherchait à faire le portrait sur sa toile préparée et, imitant Elstir, elle donnait de grands coups de pinceau, tâchant d'obéir au noble rythme qui faisait, lui avait dit le grand maître, ces anges-là si différents de tous ceux qu'il connaissait. Puis elle reprenait ses affaires. Appuyés l'un sur l'autre nous remontions la cavée, laissant la petite église, aussi tranquille que si elle ne nous avait pas vus, écouter le bruit perpétuel du ruisseau. Bientôt l'auto filait, nous faisait prendre pour le retour un autre chemin qu'à l'aller. Nous passions devant Marcouville l'Orgueilleuse. Sur son église, moitié neuve, moitié restaurée, le soleil déclinant étendait sa patine aussi belle que celle des siècles. À travers elle les grands bas-reliefs semblaient n'être vus que sous une couche fluide, moitié liquide, moitié lumineuse ; la Sainte Vierge, sainte Élisabeth, saint Joachim, nageaient encore dans l'impalpable remous, presque à sec, à fleur d'eau ou à fleur de soleil. Surgissant dans une chaude poussière, les nombreuses statues modernes se dressaient sur des colonnes jusqu'à mi-hauteur des voiles dorés du couchant. Devant l'église un grand cyprès semblait dans une sorte d'enclos consacré. Nous descendions un instant pour le regarder et faisions quelques pas. Tout autant que de ses membres, Albertine avait une conscience directe de sa toque de paille d'Italie et de l'écharpe de soie (qui n'étaient pas pour elle le siège de moindres sensations de bien-être), et recevait d'elles, tout en faisant le tour de l'église, un autre genre d'impulsion, traduite par un contentement inerte mais auquel je trouvais de la grâce ; écharpe et toque qui n'étaient qu'une partie récente, adventice, de mon amie, mais qui m'était déjà chère et dont je suivais des yeux le sillage, le long du cyprès, dans l'air du soir. Elle-même ne pouvait le voir, mais se doutait que ces élégances faisaient bien, car elle me souriait tout en harmonisant le port de sa tête avec la coiffure qui la complétait : « Elle ne me plaît pas, elle est restaurée », me dit-elle en me montrant l'église et se souvenant de ce qu'Elstir lui avait dit sur la précieuse, sur l'inimitable beauté des vieilles pierres. Albertine savait reconnaître tout de suite une restauration. On ne pouvait que s'étonner de la sûreté de goût qu'elle avait déjà en architecture, au lieu du déplorable qu'elle gardait en musique. Pas plus qu'Elstir, je n'aimais cette église, c'est sans me faire plaisir que sa façade ensoleillée était venue se poser devant mes yeux, et je n'étais descendu la regarder que pour être agréable à Albertine. Et pourtant je trouvais que le grand impressionniste était en contradiction avec lui-même ; pourquoi ce fétichisme attaché à la valeur architecturale objective, sans tenir compte de la transfiguration de l'église dans le couchant ? « Non décidément, me dit Albertine, je ne l'aime pas ; j'aime son nom d'Orgueilleuse. Mais ce qu'il faudra penser à demander à Brichot, c'est pourquoi Saint-Mars s'appelle le Vêtu. On ira la prochaine fois, n'est-ce pas ? » me disait-elle en me regardant de ses yeux noirs sur lesquels sa toque était abaissée comme autrefois son petit polo. Son voile flottait. Je remontais en auto avec elle, heureux que nous dussions le lendemain aller ensemble à Saint-Mars, dont, par ces temps ardents où on ne pensait qu'au bain, les deux antiques clochers d'un rose saumon, aux tuiles en losange, légèrement infléchis et comme palpitants, avaient l'air de vieux poissons aigus, imbriqués d'écailles, moussus et roux, qui, sans avoir l'air de bouger, s'élevaient dans une eau transparente et bleue. En quittant Marcouville, pour raccourcir, nous bifurquions à une croisée de chemins où il y a une ferme. Quelquefois Albertine y faisait arrêter et me demandait d'aller seul chercher, pour qu'elle pût le boire dans la voiture, du calvados ou du cidre, qu'on assurait n'être pas mousseux et par lequel nous étions tout arrosés. Nous étions pressés l'un contre l'autre. Les gens de la ferme apercevaient à peine Albertine dans la voiture fermée, je leur rendais les bouteilles ; nous repartions, comme afin de continuer cette vie à nous deux, cette vie d'amants qu'ils pouvaient supposer que nous avions, et dont cet arrêt pour boire n'eût été qu'un moment insignifiant ; supposition qui eût paru d'autant moins invraisemblable si on nous avait vus après qu'Albertine avait bu sa bouteille de cidre ; elle semblait alors, en effet, ne plus pouvoir supporter entre elle et moi un intervalle qui d'habitude ne la gênait pas ; sous sa jupe de toile ses jambes se serraient contre mes jambes, elle approchait de mes joues ses joues qui étaient devenues blêmes, chaudes et rouges aux pommettes, avec quelque chose d'ardent et de fané comme en ont les filles de faubourgs. À ces moments-là, presque aussi vite que de personnalité elle changeait de voix, perdait la sienne pour en prendre une autre, enrouée, hardie, presque crapuleuse. Le soir tombait. Quel plaisir de la sentir contre moi, avec son écharpe et sa toque, me rappelant que c'est ainsi toujours, côte à côte, qu'on rencontre ceux qui s'aiment. Sodome et Gomorrhe

__________________________________________________________________________ CE MERCREDI 18 MARS, A PARTIR DE 19 H, HOTEL "LE SWANN", 15, rue de Constantinople, Paris 8ème. SI VOUS NE SAVEZ RIEN DE PROUST PAR COEUR, VOUS POURREZ ECOUTER et/ou RECITER DU LA FONTAINE OU LE POEME DU MOIS? LE PRINTEMPS DE CHARLES D'ORLEANS; si vous venez, ce serait mieux mais pas indispensable de m'envoyer un mail à proustpourtous@yahoo.fr.

________________________________________________________________________

4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you? I only know that one of my happiest memory is a day with Jules, in Amiens. We were having lunch at a café's terrasse, in the sun, near the cathedral, waiting before we would visit it. I was reading loud some excerpts of John Ruskin's "Amiens' Bible", translated by Proust. It was a magic day that I would love to repeat, repeat, repeat.

I left the carriage at Quetteholme, ran down the sunken path, crossed the brook by a plank and found Albertine painting in front of the church all spires and crockets, thorny and red, blossoming like a rose bush. The lantern alone shewed an unbroken front; and the smiling surface of the stone was abloom with angels who continued, before the twentieth century couple that we were, to celebrate, taper in hand, the ceremonies of the thirteenth. It was they that Albertine was endeavouring to portray on her prepared canvas, and, imitating Elstir, she was laying on the paint in sweeping strokes, trying to obey the noble rhythm set, the great master had told her, by those angels so different from any that he knew. Then she collected her things. Leaning upon one another we walked back up the sunken path, leaving the little church, as quiet as though it had never seen us, to listen to the perpetual sound of the brook. Presently the car started, taking us home by a different way. We passed Marcouville l’Orgueilleuse. Over its church, half new, half restored, the setting sun spread its patina as fine as that of centuries. Through it the great bas-reliefs seemed to be visible only through a floating layer, half liquid, half luminous; the Blessed Virgin, Saint Elizabeth, Saint Joachim swam in the impalpable tide, almost on dry land, on the water’s or the sunlight’s surface. Rising in a warm dust, the many modern statues reached, on their pillars, halfway up the golden webs of sunset. In front of the church a tall cypress seemed to be in a sort of consecrated enclosure. We left the car for a moment to look at it and strolled for a little. No less than of her limbs, Albertine was directly conscious of her toque of Leghorn straw and of the silken veil (which were for her the source of no less satisfaction), and derived from them, as we strolled round the church, a different sort of impetus, revealed by a contentment which was inert but in which I found a certain charm; veil and toque which were but a recent, adventitious part of my friend, but a part that was already dear to me, as I followed its trail with my eyes, past the cypress in the evening air. She herself could not see it, but guessed that the effect was pleasing, for she smiled at me, harmonising the poise of her head with the headgear that completed it. “I don’t like it, it’s restored,” she said to me, pointing to the church and remembering what Elstir had said to her about the priceless, inimitable beauty of old stone. Albertine could tell a restoration at a glance. One could not help feeling surprised at the sureness of the taste she had already acquired in architecture, as contrasted with the deplorable taste she still retained in music. I cared no more than Elstir for this church, it was with no pleasure to myself that its sunlit front had come and posed before my eyes, and I had got out of the car to examine it only out of politeness to Albertine. I found, however, that the great impressionist had contradicted himself; why exalt this fetish of its objective architectural value, and not take into account the transfiguration of the church by the sunset? “No, certainly not,” said Albertine, “I don’t like it; I like its name orgueilleuse. But what I must remember to ask Brichot is why Saint-Mars is called le Vêtu. We shall be going there next, shan’t we?” she said, gazing at me out of her black eyes over which her toque was pulled down, like her little polo cap long ago. Her veil floated behind her. I got back into the car with her, happy in the thought that we should be going next day to Saint-Mars, where, in this blazing weather when one could think only of the delights of a bath, the two ancient steeples, salmon-pink, with their lozenge-shaped tiles, gaping slightly as though for air, looked like a pair of old, sharp-snouted fish, coated in scales, moss-grown and red, which without seeming to move were rising in a blue, transparent water. On leaving Marcouville, to shorten the road, we turned aside at a crossroads where there is a farm. Sometimes Albertine made the car stop there and asked me to go alone to fetch, so that she might drink it in the car, a bottle of calvados or cider, which the people assured me was not effervescent, and which proceeded to drench us from head to foot. We sat pressed close together. The people of the farm could scarcely see Albertine in the closed car, I handed them back their bottles; we moved on again, as though to continue that private life by ourselves, that lovers’ existence which they might suppose us to lead, and of which this halt for refreshment had been only an insignificant moment; a supposition that would have appeared even less far-fetched if they had seen us after Albertine had drunk her bottle of cider; she seemed then positively unable to endure the existence of an interval between herself and me which as a rule did not trouble her; beneath her linen skirt her legs were pressed against mine, she brought close against my cheeks her own cheeks which had turned pale, warm and red over the cheekbones, with something ardent and faded about them such as one sees in girls from the slums. At such moments, almost as quickly as her personality, her voice changed also, she forsook her own voice to adopt another, raucous, bold, almost dissolute. Night began to fall. What a pleasure to feel her leaning against me, with her toque and her veil, reminding me that it is always thus, seated side by side, that we meet couples who are in love. Cities of the Plain

I left the carriage at Quetteholme, ran down the sunken path, crossed the brook by a plank and found Albertine painting in front of the church all spires and crockets, thorny and red, blossoming like a rose bush. The lantern alone shewed an unbroken front; and the smiling surface of the stone was abloom with angels who continued, before the twentieth century couple that we were, to celebrate, taper in hand, the ceremonies of the thirteenth. It was they that Albertine was endeavouring to portray on her prepared canvas, and, imitating Elstir, she was laying on the paint in sweeping strokes, trying to obey the noble rhythm set, the great master had told her, by those angels so different from any that he knew. Then she collected her things. Leaning upon one another we walked back up the sunken path, leaving the little church, as quiet as though it had never seen us, to listen to the perpetual sound of the brook. Presently the car started, taking us home by a different way. We passed Marcouville l’Orgueilleuse. Over its church, half new, half restored, the setting sun spread its patina as fine as that of centuries. Through it the great bas-reliefs seemed to be visible only through a floating layer, half liquid, half luminous; the Blessed Virgin, Saint Elizabeth, Saint Joachim swam in the impalpable tide, almost on dry land, on the water’s or the sunlight’s surface. Rising in a warm dust, the many modern statues reached, on their pillars, halfway up the golden webs of sunset. In front of the church a tall cypress seemed to be in a sort of consecrated enclosure. We left the car for a moment to look at it and strolled for a little. No less than of her limbs, Albertine was directly conscious of her toque of Leghorn straw and of the silken veil (which were for her the source of no less satisfaction), and derived from them, as we strolled round the church, a different sort of impetus, revealed by a contentment which was inert but in which I found a certain charm; veil and toque which were but a recent, adventitious part of my friend, but a part that was already dear to me, as I followed its trail with my eyes, past the cypress in the evening air. She herself could not see it, but guessed that the effect was pleasing, for she smiled at me, harmonising the poise of her head with the headgear that completed it. “I don’t like it, it’s restored,” she said to me, pointing to the church and remembering what Elstir had said to her about the priceless, inimitable beauty of old stone. Albertine could tell a restoration at a glance. One could not help feeling surprised at the sureness of the taste she had already acquired in architecture, as contrasted with the deplorable taste she still retained in music. I cared no more than Elstir for this church, it was with no pleasure to myself that its sunlit front had come and posed before my eyes, and I had got out of the car to examine it only out of politeness to Albertine. I found, however, that the great impressionist had contradicted himself; why exalt this fetish of its objective architectural value, and not take into account the transfiguration of the church by the sunset? “No, certainly not,” said Albertine, “I don’t like it; I like its name orgueilleuse. But what I must remember to ask Brichot is why Saint-Mars is called le Vêtu. We shall be going there next, shan’t we?” she said, gazing at me out of her black eyes over which her toque was pulled down, like her little polo cap long ago. Her veil floated behind her. I got back into the car with her, happy in the thought that we should be going next day to Saint-Mars, where, in this blazing weather when one could think only of the delights of a bath, the two ancient steeples, salmon-pink, with their lozenge-shaped tiles, gaping slightly as though for air, looked like a pair of old, sharp-snouted fish, coated in scales, moss-grown and red, which without seeming to move were rising in a blue, transparent water. On leaving Marcouville, to shorten the road, we turned aside at a crossroads where there is a farm. Sometimes Albertine made the car stop there and asked me to go alone to fetch, so that she might drink it in the car, a bottle of calvados or cider, which the people assured me was not effervescent, and which proceeded to drench us from head to foot. We sat pressed close together. The people of the farm could scarcely see Albertine in the closed car, I handed them back their bottles; we moved on again, as though to continue that private life by ourselves, that lovers’ existence which they might suppose us to lead, and of which this halt for refreshment had been only an insignificant moment; a supposition that would have appeared even less far-fetched if they had seen us after Albertine had drunk her bottle of cider; she seemed then positively unable to endure the existence of an interval between herself and me which as a rule did not trouble her; beneath her linen skirt her legs were pressed against mine, she brought close against my cheeks her own cheeks which had turned pale, warm and red over the cheekbones, with something ardent and faded about them such as one sees in girls from the slums. At such moments, almost as quickly as her personality, her voice changed also, she forsook her own voice to adopt another, raucous, bold, almost dissolute. Night began to fall. What a pleasure to feel her leaning against me, with her toque and her veil, reminding me that it is always thus, seated side by side, that we meet couples who are in love.

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