Still working my way through the ways and wiles and sorrows of Madame de Villeparisis. Our narrator is at her reception with Bloch and the term "bluestocking" is in use. I wonder what the original French word was.
Lots of talk about rising and falling in society, with veiled speculation that the fallen ladies are perhaps just that, those who in their youth committed indiscretions that can't be forgiven. This topic of the social fall of Mme. Villeparisis and three of her cronies has been going on for page after page. Nonetheless, it's interesting, and Proust remarks that if she were "in society," she wouldn't have time for her memoirs and the social lions or course are too busy at dinner parties and balls and receptions to have time for memoir, so in this case, history is written, so to speak, by the loosers, not the victors. How subtle of Proust to have noticed that. The man is a genius.
From Wikipedia: Bluestocking
Bluestocking is a disparaging term, no longer in common use, for an educated, intellectual woman. 'Bluestocking' may also refer to:
Blue Stockings Society (England), a women's movement based on the French movement