Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
like all of Combray from Proust's teacup (yet in Flora's case unwill-
ingly), 'tout l'appartement de M. et Mme Éventurel qui ont adopté une
petite fille rescapée de l'hospice Saint-Louis.' (38; the whole apartment
of M. and Mme Éventurel, who have adopted a little girl who was res-
cued from the Hospice Saint-Louis [26].) The episode thus further con-
firms the earlier hypothesis of adoption, while adding a family name to
the earlier passage (30), but holds back, for the moment, until it will
also reach Flora's consciousness, additional information regarding the
'escape' and the significance of the door handle.
The subsequent city tour is punctuated with descriptions of reference
points that enable the reader to further map the city: 'L'éclat de midi sur
toutes choses. La haute ville dressé sur son cap, verte et chevelue
comme une campagne, à la crête des murs, là où la citadelle est juchée
contre le ciel. En bas, le parc des Champs-de-Bataille. En contrebas, le
fleuve, d'allure océane, à l'odeur de vase, d'huile et de goudron, baigne
des quais moussus.' (41; The midday glare on all things. The upper
town held up by its cape, covered with green tufts like the countryside,
there at the crest of the walls where the Citadel is perched against the
sky. Below the Plains of Abraham. And beneath it the river, oceanic
here, and smelling of mud, oil, and tar, bathes moss-covered wharves
[28].) In addition to the topographical mapping suggested by the nu-
merous spatial references ('sur,' 'là,' 'contre,' 'en bas,' 'en contrebas'), the
specific cultural place set off against the vast natural space ('la citadelle
est juchée contre le ciel') serves also to map the city historically by
bringing to mind and memory the British Conquest ('la citadelle') on
the Plains of Abraham ('le parc des Champs-de-Bataille'), 'au cours de
laquelle, en 1759, on a perdu la ville et tout le pays' (30; the 1759 battle,
scarcely a few minutes long, in the course of which the city and the
entire country were lost [21]).
The day and, one might say, first act come to a close on the Dufferin
Terrace, the cliff-top boardwalk overlooking the lower city:
La terrasse Dufferin déverse sa foule nocturne sous le ciel d'été. Ceux de
la haute ville rejoignent ceux de la basse ville, sur la promenade de bois.
Deux courants se rencontrent, se heurtent et se mêlent sur les planches
sonores, pareils au mouvement du fleuve lorsque les eaux douces rejoi-
gnent les eaux salées, se brouillent un instant et suivent leur cours saumâ-
tre. [44; A confused stamping of hooves on planks, the warmth and sound
of passing lives. Dufferin Terrace pours out its nocturnal crowd under the
summer sky. People from the upper town join those from the lower town
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