Tag Archives: Marcel Proust

Class Notes: Fun Facts about César Franck

César Franck

César Franck

I, too, have written some beautiful things.
—César Franck

This essay was submitted to fulfill a class assignment. The assignment requirements were detailed and specific, but nonetheless yielded some “fun facts” about Franck. (Hint to readers: the footnotes likely contain the best bits.) Most of all, I knew readers would enjoy learning that Franck’s works were catalogued and by whom and look forward to an opportunity to check my counts of Franck’s compositions by genre. (Also, just a note to say, computer malfunctions and class work have put me behind in visiting; I’m hoping to catch up a bit in the next few days.)


My introduction to César Franck’s music came in the guise of a creature of fiction, the composer Vinteuil in Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. Byron Adams wrote that the “equally timid” Franck was the model for “the timid composer whose heart was broken by his mannish daughter’s lesbianism.” [B 40] I knew little about Franck, so this assignment seemed a good opportunity to learn more. Continue reading

Invective Against Swan(n)s

Swan P5073985_edited-1

And the soul, O ganders, being lonely, flies
Beyond your chilly chariots, to the skies.

—Wallace Stevens, from Invective against Swans

After a visit to the Morgan Library earlier this year, I set myself the task of re-reading Proust’s Swann’s Way. I have read Proust’s entire magnum opus once with a certain amount of satisfaction (though I’ll confess to having commented at one point that Proust could have used an editor), but it seemed time to start again. (No need to rush, as copyright laws in the U.S. mean the last three volumes of this edition will not be available here until 2019—“longer than Proust’s original public had” to wait—about which I have no comment.) Continue reading