After a while, Paris was “unblocked”, and the French’s patience had reached its limit. Everyone is imagining a new life after “unblocking”, but I feel a deeper loneliness, or a sense of boundless isolation. The world is changing.
Every time I walk to Ottoman Street, I sit on the bench at gate 102. This was once Proust’s dwelling.
The atmosphere in Paris is getting more and more depressed. Almost everyone smelled a smoky smoke. Proust wrapped the walls of the room with cork, and he wanted to keep all the noise away. His windows are always closed, he doesn’t want to smell the smell outside. In the busy day of others, he sleeps. When the night was quiet, he got up again to work. He felt that only at this time was his own time, and the world belonged to him. He had asthma in his childhood, and it is more serious now. He likes spring, but he can’t see the scenery of spring. He stayed at home for too long, and he couldn’t remember some flowers. When he missed them, he asked people to go out to help him take a look, and came back to tell him. He is lonely and intends to write a book about eternity. This book was written, revised, and polished until he died. This is a book full of tenderness and love for the world, but the person who wrote it is living in endless loneliness. The world abandoned him and threw him in this room that seemed to be isolated.
After the “closing of the city” in Paris, the world and the virus were fighting for life and death, and at the same time, an alienated atmosphere quietly diffused. The world is caught in a strange suspicion and disgust, people are complaining, accusing and attacking each other. As a small individual, I was like Proust in the room, praying for peace and tranquility in my heart, but the world was increasingly unstable.
In 1914, the First World War broke out. The French government began to recruit adult men into the army regardless of age. Proust, who was 43 years old and was ill in bed, also received a conscription notice. Officials asked him to go to the Les Invalides in Paris for a medical examination at 3 o’clock in the morning.
At this time, Proust’s “Remembrance of Water” has just published the first volume. He found four publishing houses, including the “New France Review” in charge of Gide, which were ruthlessly rejected. Proust had to publish at his own expense. Few media and critics have expressed concern about this book, and Paris has only silence and silence. Because of a certain relationship, the famous writer Frances, who was familiar with Proust, turned it over and smiled and said: “Life is too short, Proust is too long.”
However, the work must be published. Just as Proust was preparing to publish the second volume of the book, the war broke out. Proust dragged his sick body to the Les Invalides. The black lights of the Rongjun Academy were blind, the door was closed, and there was no one. It turned out that the time on the conscription notice was not clearly printed, and 8 o’clock was printed as 3 o’clock. Of course, any military doctor can see that this thin and middle-aged man cannot go to the battlefield at all.
The war lasted for more than 4 years. The country mobilized all people and all spiritual forces. For four years, the publishing industry could only publish books related to war, and all other books ceased to be published. All other thoughts must remain silent.
Proust kept himself in a small room, but always heard the sound of the young man’s body hitting the ground. But he could do nothing. His heart is on the battlefield, on the dead and wounded. In Paris, when he heard the bad news that someone was killed, even if some people were not familiar with him, he would get up immediately and endure the pain in his body. He knew that loneliness increased pain. The pain in his heart is the same as the family who lost his loved ones. He hopes that he can bring them even a slight solace.
In 1918, the First World War ended. As a result, nearly 16 million people died worldwide, and nearly 1.7 million people died in France alone. I have been to many villages in France, and even in the most remote places, I can see stone tablets with a string of names in the center of the village. They are all victims of this war, they are everywhere in France.
In the second year of the end of the war, the second volume of Proust’s “Remembrance of Water” was published. In 1919, Proust won the Gong Gul Literature Award. The news shook Paris. There was little praise in the newspaper, only anger, ridicule, scoffs and jealousy. A newspaper wrote: “This time, the Gongguer Prize Committee awarded the prize to an outright unknown writer. He is no longer young, but obscured. He is the same now, and he will continue to be so in the future.” Someone accused him of saying that he had never been to the front, but stole the honor from the soldier. They believe that only soldiers or works depicting war are eligible for awards.
Proust at that time was indeed not famous, and many people who knew him also said that he was just an amateur writer. And he is indeed not young, already 48 years old. At this time, only 3 years from Proust’s death.
The late honor still aroused the unstoppable joy of Proust. He used the bonus to set up a banquet at his favorite Ritz hotel, hoping to celebrate it. He reserved 15 seats. That night, he only waited for two guests. This did not affect his emotions. He is like a naive child. His mother said he will only be 4 years old. He tipped the waiters enough-he always did. Even a waiter in the corner who had never been to his table would put a handful of money in that person’s hand. “When he saw me giving money to others, how sad his eyes were.” Proust explained to his friends. He spent a large part of his property on others. And for yourself? He didn’t spend much. He wore a coat for 3 years. There is only one piece of his pajamas.
In the year when Proust received the Gungol Award, he was driven out of his apartment on Ottoman Street where he lived for more than 10 years. He moved to a bleak hut in a state of dismay. He didn’t plan to live there for a long time, but he didn’t know where he could live. He left his mother’s belongings and his favorite books in the furniture storage. He wanted to wait for a suitable place to get it back, but he failed to wait. Three years later, in 1922, he died. Because of his weakened immunity, he contracted pneumonia.
I sat for a long time outside the apartment where Proust once lived, the street lights slowly turned on, and there was no one on the wide Ottoman Street. Paris has never been so desolate, the world has never been so desolate. In this desolate world, who is not a sojourner who will be evicted at any time?