Ok. *is constantly reminding self in order to get over anxiety of posting here that the fact that her stupidity will be displayed for the whole wide internets to see is in fact nothing at all new* I'm bad at this stuff, so I suppose I'll have more questions than enlightening commentary ^_^
I'm probably stating the obvious here, but Swann's sudden anxiety/panic when faced with not being able to see Odette that day seemed very reminiscent of Marcel's attitude toward his mother's kisses. Some of these passages sound like they could even have been lifted from the beginning of the book: “Once he was with Odette [ . . . ] he would cease to be able to think about her, too occupied with finding pretexts that would permit him not to leave her right away and to make certain, without seeming to care about it, that he would see her again the next day at Verdurins': that is, to prolong the moment and to renew for yet one more day the disappointment and torment that came to him from this pointless presence of this woman whom he saw so regularly without daring to take her in his arms.” (237) It sounds a bit masochistic, and I wonder if Marcel's demand for his mother's kisses is similar, something he does in part simply to torment himself? And why would he want to torture himself in such a way? He does seem to make some connection between hatred/hurt and love. (I recall him hoping he could do something really cruel to Swann's daughter to make her hate him? I know young boys sometimes tease girls they like, but something tells me it's not usually that calculated, nor that extreme.)
Actually the scene where he says goodbye to the hawthorns from the reading earlier also reminded me of his mother obsession somehow, but looking back that may have been just me linking them because they were both 'weird obsessions of Marcel,' hehe. After all he does tell them (aah, nutty boy) that “you're not the ones trying to make me unhappy,” (somehow, i found the whole scene a bit disturbing), so apparently they aren't torturing him, at least in his eyes. General obsession with hawthorns aside, though, his obsession with their pinkness was a little eyebrow-raise-inducing to me as well, though I'm not sure if there's any meaning to be drawn from it. Some of the language is interesting. The pink cups apparently have “reds of a bloody tinge” when they start to open, which express the “irresistible essence of the hawthorn.” “Smiling in its fresh pink outfit, catholic and delicious.” “These flowers had chosen precisely the color of an edible thing.” (Did I already mention I find Marcel's obsessions disturbing? Well, always worth saying again.) Naturally in my frantic chase for meaning I started paying attention to pink. I could think of was the courtesan and possibly Odette's face... Interesting, but I'm not sure what to say. :)
Other random comments.... Swann's chase after the song also reminded me of Marcel's, er, chase with the madeline. He's self-centered like Marcel, too, and as previously said both have an “insatiable heart.” Swann does seem much more proactive about chasing the objects of his affection than Marcel, but then again he rather uses them for escape like Marcel uses his books, and it's not as if Marcel makes any fuss about obtaining books, so I'm not sure if it makes them the same or different. I remember thinking Swann seemed extremely vain as well, though (having trouble remember the main thing that gave me the impression...to a lesser extent I think one thing was the way he was glad he could “justify” his attraction to Odette by connecting it with “his own aesthetic culture”). Marcel hasn't struck me as exactly that yet. I wonder, is he? (Is it even important, heheh?)
Actually one of the things I was most confused by (and had to claim first finder's posting rights to so brother Carl wouldn't steal from me even though this thing has now gotten hopelessly long and I should have given it up to him anyway): Did anyone notice weird pronoun shift on 239? I considered Marcel to be sort of narrating from the POV of Swann, but in the last full paragraph, when the narrator gives us a little rant on the most effective agent which "disseminate[s] the holy evil" (love ^_^), the narrator refers to the hypothetical object of love as "him" for the entire paragraph. Iiiiinteresting choice. A sudden change to a woman's POV? ...Unlikely. A sudden POV from an apparently gay/bi person (be it Swann, Marcel, or Proust)? I'm not even going to feign a clue as to what that's all about.
In conclusion, I think we all don't trust Marcel cause he's a really, really creepy little boy. (Actually I think his extreme attention to detail on certain things is part of my reason. Anyone that goes on that long about church steeples is trying to distract you from finding out something, I swear it. ^_^) Though I do agree with him about the pink thing. The pink cookies always looks the tastiest.