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Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2003 15:38:30 -0700
From: maa32 
Subject: (urth) various New Sun/Proust quotes (+ Napoleon)

I was just finishing up Proust's Remembrance of Things Past, and was caught 
off guard by how many of my favorite Wolfe quotes come from book six (The 
Fugitive, in my translation).  "Love is the only divinity", "All things that 
we consider imperishable tend to their own destruction", "Certain philosophers 
aver that the real world is a construction of the mind", "Time turns our lies 
into truth", eating a Chatelaine to invoke involuntary memory instead of a 
Madeleine cookie, etc.

I remember one debate that was innocuous enough last year in which we 
discussed Weer's answer to the riddle of Napoleon's hand in his coat from 
Peace.  Proust offers a joking answer: Napoleon took liqourice tablets for his 
liver which stained his books, and the liver bothered him so much that he 
grabbed it all the time and eventually died of the ailment.  If you look it up 
on the internet, most sites say that it was "fashionable" for a gentleman to 
hold his hand that way in portraits during Napoleon's time.  My own crude 
theory back then was that Napoleon's documented erectile dysfunction occupied 
him at all times, especially on the battle field, where some residual 
excitement may have offerred some solace to his condition.  (A psychological 
Priapism in battle, perhaps?)  In any case, does anyone think that Proust's 
explanation for the hand has anything to do with Alden Dennis Weer's 
explanation?  It may be found in the beginning segments of Time Regained.

Just a few worthless bits ...
Marc Aramini


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