Page 86. " I would hasten to the Morris column "
The Morris Column by Jean Beraud
Public DomainThe Morris Column by Jean Beraud

'Morris' columns, or advertising columns, have been part of Parisian street furniture for a hundred and fifty years. In 2006 the mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe, started to implement a campaign to reduce the number of these columns in an attempt to 'declutter' the streets. The move was protested as an attack on the arts, as theatres and galleries still use the columns to promote their shows.

There is an urban legend that the columns contain spiral staircases leading down to a network of secret catacombs. Unfortunately, the prosaic truth is that they usually contain equipment for the Parisian street cleaners.

Page 86. " Testaments de César Girodot or Oedipus Rex "

The Testaments de César Girodot is a 1876 three-act comedy by Adolphe Belot. Oedipus Rex, the Greek tragedy by Sophocles, is the basis of Freud's theory of the Oedipus complex. It is the second mention of an incestuous text in Swann's Way (see also the bookmark for p. 47, "she had chosen François le Champi").

Page 86. " the Diamants de la Couronne "

The Diamants de la Couronne (The Crown Diamonds) and the Domino Noir (the Black Domino) are comic operas by Daniel Auber.


Page 87. " our greatest actor was Got, our second Delaunay "

Got, Delaunay, and Thiron, Febvre and Coquelin are all real French actors from the turn of the century. The only fictional one is Berma, who comes after Sarah Bernhardt in the narrator's reckoning. Berma is the first of Proust's four archetypal artists to appear in the novel.

Page 94. " how goes it with Giotto's charity? "

Giotto's Charity
Public DomainGiotto's Charity
Giotto's Charity is a part of a fresco painted in 1302-1305, in Capella degli Scrovegni, Padua, Italy. Swann frequently compares people he sees with the subjects of paintings.