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Elle a pourtant l'habitude. Tout finit par s'arranger. Il suffit de refaire l'ordre
de la chambre, avant même d'ouvrir les yeux. Bien s'assurer des points de
repère précis. [15; For a long time she slept very late, in strange rooms, fo-
reign cities. For many years she experienced the trepidation of a woman
awaking in the dark, unsure where she is. Utter panic at not knowing, for a
moment, who she is. Now she's used to it though. Everything works out in
the end. She just has to retrace the order of objects in the room before she
even opens her eyes. Determine some precise reference points. (7)]
Again the prose, representing Flora's consciousness, reverberates with
echoes of literary ancestors, here Proust's famous novel, À la recherche
du temps perdu , which begins with 'Longtemps je me suis couché de
bonne heure' and where the narrator experiences similar anguish be-
fore reconstructing the various layers of his past and present rooms and
thus the architecture of his identity. 4 Here Flora is content to construct a
present, functional identity by specific, concrete reference points ('points
de repère précis') in order precisely to avoid the past, leading to a lack of
personality structure, which accounts no doubt for her panic. Nonetheless,
the link between the memory of place ('où elle se trouve') and identity
('qui elle était') is undeniable, although experienced negatively here by
the anxiety-ridden Flora.
As she looks out of the window from her hotel room onto the rue
Sainte-Anne, Flora is distracted by the vivid scenery: 'La petite place
sous sa fenêtre est éclaboussée de soleil. Des calèches fraîchement lavées,
les roues rouges luisantes d'eau, les chevaux, le nez dans leurs picotins
d'avoine … C'est le présent à son heure la plus vive. Toutes les cloches
de la ville sonnent l'angélus, qui mieux mieux, en grosses rafales so-
nores. Le canon de la citadelle tonne midi. Les habitants de la haute
ville règlent leurs montres et leurs horloges sur le canon de la citadelle.'
(15-16; The little square under her window is spattered with sunlight.
Freshly washed calèches, their red wheels glistening with water, horses
with their noses in bags of oats … This is the present at its liveliest. All
the church bells in the city compete as they sound the angelus, great
gusts of sound. The canon at the Citadel thunders noon. The inhabit-
ants of the upper town set their watches and clocks by that canon [7].) 5
In addition to furnishing the reader with several more reference points
concerning the city's landmarks ('la citadelle') and its topography ('la
haute ville'), there is, despite Flora's judgment that 'c'est le présent à
son heure la plus vive,' something clearly anachronistic in the presence
of the horse-drawn carriages and something definitely theatrical about
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