A Hollywood version is in development and I have no doubt that the American movie will far surpass this dreary adaptation. There is so much exposition in the script—the book is even worse, it should have been chopped down to 120 pages—that after a few minutes I kind of drifted off and said to myself, “Okay, at least there’s nothing about Israel here and no Jews.”
But of course, the Jewish angle does appear.
I’m not going into detail, no spoilers here. But gee willikers, this obsession with Jews, with things Jewish, is nothing short of astonishing.
Note: the lead actress, Noomi Rapace, is brilliant, easily the best element in the film.
After the movie, I read my ten pages of In Search of Lost Time.
Yup, I’m at it again.
There are about four hundred and fifty characters in Proust’s immense novel. And out of that list, a good number of the major characters are Jewish or half-Jewish.
Charles Swann: an art connoisseur who is despised by the aristocratic class because he is Jewish. Swann is easily the most sympathetic character in the novel. Swann falls in love with the heartless courtesan Odette because she resembles Zipporah in the Boticelli painting “Jethro’s Daughters.” Of course, daughter Zipporah married Moses. Swann, like all the Jewish characters in the novel is in flight from his Jewishness, but Proust seems to be saying that the love of Swann’s life springs, in part, from the Torah embedded in his soul.
“Her loosened hair flowing down her cheeks, bending one knee in a slightly balletic pose . . . her head on one side, with those great eyes of hers which seemed so tired and sullen when there was nothing to animate her, she struck Swann by her resemblance to the figure of Zipporah, Jethro’s daughter.” — Swann’s Way
Albert Bloch: the narrator’s oldest school friend. Proust has been accused of Jew-hatred for his portrayal of Bloch’s family as pushy, vulgar and ill-bred. But in fairness, Proust was, at best, conflicted about his Jewish roots and Bloch serves as Proust’s dark alter-ego.
Rachel: a notorious prostitute, avant garde actress, and greedy mistress to Marcel’s friend Saint-Loup. She is labeled “Rachel When From the Lord,” a reference to the Jewish matriarch Rachel, and more specifically to Halevy’s opera La Juive.
And of course, Proust details the tectonic rifts in French society caused by the Dreyfus Affair. Jew-hatred underlined the false charges against Captain Dreyfus. It was, in its own way, another European blood libel. Proust supported Captain Dreyfus and put himself at odds with his beloved French aristocracy.
Even in Proust’s famous long sentence from Volume IV, Sodom and Gomorrah, of nine hundred and fifty-eight words, a sentence about homosexuality—a word Proust never uses, he prefers “inverts” which he defines as a woman trapped in a man’s body—makes reference to Jews:
“Their honor precarious, their liberty provisional, lasting only until the discovery of their crime; their position unstable, like that of the poet one day feted in every drawing room and applauded in every theatre in London, and the next driven from every lodging, unable to find a pillow upon which to lay his head, turning the mill like Samson and saying like him: “The two sexes shall die, each in a place apart!”; excluded even, save on the days of general misfortune when the majority rally round the victim as the Jews rallied around Dreyfus, from the sympathy — at times from the society — of their fellows, in whom they inspire only disgust at seeing themselves as they are, portrayed in a mirror which, ceasing to flatter them, accentuates ever blemish that they have refused to observe in themselves…”
From Proust to Stieg Larsson, Jews figure prominently in their universe.
Currently, on the world stage, the obsession with Israel is just a stand-in for the age-old obsession with Jews.
And even Jews who have no connection to Torah Judaism, poisonous groups such as L.A. Jews for Peace, are obsessed with Israel. A negative obsession that perfectly mirrors the Dreyfus Jew-haters of Proust’s society.
In fact, these creatures are, to borrow a phrase from Proust: Inverts, Jew-haters trapped in Jewish bodies.
Why this obsession with Judaism/Israel/Jews?
The answer is quite simple.
Torah Judaism introduced the world to ethical monotheism, to the paradigm of good and evil, right and wrong, which guides Judeo-Christian values, and leaves little room for moral equivalence.
And the world will never forgive Jews and Judaism for this incomparable gift.