I like Proust’s subtlety and his well-bred anarchy

longxianchen

Senior Member
chinese
Hi,
Here are some words from the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover( page 286, chapter 13) by Lawrence (planetebook,here):
(background: Connie was tired of the mentalities and sophistication of Proust's works, Clifford asked "would you……)

‘Would you prefer self-important animalities?’
‘Perhaps! But one might possibly get something that wasn’t self-important.’
‘Well, I like Proust’s subtlety and his well-bred anarchy.’
‘It makes you very dead, really.’

What do subtlety and well-bred anarchy mean please? I guess well-bred here means elegant, and that anarchy refers to Proust's works are messy, and badly organized, rather than the anarchy of social order, because I failed to find Proust was a advocate of anarchism.

Could you please give me your helping hands?
Thank you in advance
 
  • Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    What do subtlety and well-bred anarchy mean please? I guess well-bred here means elegant, and that anarchy refers to Proust's works are messy, and badly organized, rather than the anarchy of social order, because I failed to find Proust was a advocate of anarchism
    Your interpretation is correct, except that Proust's works (In Search of Lost Time) aren't "badly" organized, they are simply organized in what Clifford takes to be a deliberately anarchic fashion. Nobody would ever accuse Proust of failing to think through his writing!
     

    longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Thank you. Can I understand that you agree Proust was not an advocate of anarchism in politics? And do you mean his novel is not messy but written in the way which only Clifford thinks is messy(=anarchic)?
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    As I see it,

    ‘Well, I like Proust’s subtlety and his well-bred anarchy.’
    = Well, I like Proust’s style in which he subtly suggests emotions and ideas to the reader and also the manner in which he expresses his polite dismissal of the possibility of there being justification for an authority over one's life .’
     

    longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Now I think what you said is very possible, because I have found out some Chinese words saying Proust described the government as a group of criminals, mafias and schemers.Maybe Clifford wanted to live a free life
     
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