Odette’s New Look


Since her marriage, Odette has lost some of her fragile beauty but gained a youthfulness as her added weight fills out her face. Swann still prefers the Botticelli version of Odette.

And sometimes in the evening, when she was tired, he would quietly draw my attention to the way in which she was giving, quite unconsciously, to her pensive hands the uncontrolled, almost distraught movement of the Virgin who dips her pen into the inkpot that the angle holds out to her, before writing upon the sacred page on which is already traced the word “Magnificat.” But he added: “Whatever you do, don’t say anything about it to her; if she knew she was doing it, she would change her pose at once.” (II,265

 

Swann himself doesn’t get his picture taken so often.

…I should have wished them to understand what an inestimable present I had just received and, to show their gratitude to that generous and courteous Swann who had offered it to me, or to them rather, without seeming any more conscious of its value than the charming Mage with the arched brow and fair hair in Luini’s fresco, to whom, it was said, Swann had at one time  been thought to bear a striking resemblance. (II,201)

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