2nd draft close reading

2nd draft close reading - Megan Lawless Com L 114[1 But...

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Megan Lawless Com L 114 11/5/07 [1] But even with respect to the most insignificant things in life, none of us constitutes a material whole, identical for everyone, which a person has only to go to look up as though we were a book of specifications or a last testament; our social personality is a creation of the minds of others. [2] Even the very simple act that we call ‘seeing a person we know’ is in part an intellectual act. [3] We fill the physical appearance of the individual we see with all the notions we have about him, and in the total picture that we form for ourselves, these notions certainly have the greater part. [4] In the end they swell his cheeks so perfectly, follow the line of his nose in an adherence so exact, they do so well at nuancing the sonority of his voice as though the latter were only a transparent envelope that each time we see this face and hear this voice, it is these notions that we encounter again, that we hear… [5] The corporeal envelope of our friend had been so well stuffed with all this, as well as with a few memories relating to his parents, that this particular Swann had become a complete and living being, and I have the impression of leaving one person to go to another distinct from him, when, in my memory, I pass from the Swann I knew later with accuracy to that first Swann- to that first Swann in whom I rediscover the charming mistakes of my youth and who in fact resembles less the other Swann than he resembles the other people I knew at the time, as though it were the same in our life as in a museum where all the portraits from one period have a family look about them, one tonality- to that first Swann abounding in leisure, fragrant with the smell of the tall chestnut tree, the baskets of raspberries and a sprig of tarragon (22-23).
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This passage from Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time appears in the first half of the first chapter. It is a narrative filled with both vivid imagery and characterization. It reveals the narrator’s thoughts on a particular person he knew from his childhood, Mr. Swann, while at the same time revealing a great deal about the narrator himself. It is through this passage, as well as
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This note was uploaded on 03/10/2008 for the course COMM 114 taught by Professor Romero-rivera,marce during the Spring '08 term at Cornell.

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2nd draft close reading - Megan Lawless Com L 114[1 But...

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