“LIKE A LAMP WHICH HAS BEEN MOVED (COMMENT). I posted here on Jonathan Raban’s analysis of Flaubert’s use of the : tense in MADAME BOVARY. Mary Jane commented that it seemed that the analysis seemed precious, whereas I had thought that it opened up a new perspective for me on the power of verb tenses. In my post I quoted Proust on how the use of the imperfect “completely changes the aspect of things and people.” Here is another version of the quote (taken from Roger Shattuck’s PROUST’S WAY) which includes more of the sentence: “[In Flaubert the imperfect] entirely changes the aspect of things and people, like a lamp which has been moved.”

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  1. Mary Jane Schaefer says:

    Season One of “Mad Men” ends with Don Draper’s pitch to Kodak. They have invented a circular holder for slides that enables one to store them and to have them played automatically, in any order they’re set up. The men from Kodak are obsessed with the idea that it’s a “wheel,” and they want the agency to come up with something NEW about inventing the wheel. Instead, Draper gives them a slide show of the happy moments of his life, using the theme nostalgia, the painful desire to regain the unregainable past. And then he eases them out of their wheel image to think of their invention as a way of traveling through time, backwards and forwards, in a circle, as children do on a carousel. The product isn’t a wheel, it’s a carousel. This may not be Proust or Flaubert, but it was extremely moving, one of the best things I’ve seen on television.

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