I've been reading Calvino's Six Memos for the Next Millennium (Lezioni Americane) with its five chapters (Calvino died before he could finish the lectures and deliver them at Harvard) on Lightness, Quickness, Exactitude, Visibility, Multiplicity (missing chapter: Consistency). In the Multiplicity chapter a quote from Proust on love and jealousy (my own quick translation): "I understood the impossibility of love. We imagine that its object is a being who can be couched in front of us, enclosed in a body. Alas! It is the extension of this being into all the points of space and time that this being has and will occupy. If we don't possess its contact with such a place, with such a time, we don't possess it." (pronouns somewhat ambiguous here).
And it makes me wonder whether jealousy is a male emotion or if my own experience is simply incomplete. Still it would be logical that the idea of total possession of the beloved (does it matter that in Proust's case, as opposed to that of his double Marcel , the loved object was a man?), went along with the age-old view of women as chattel to be enclosed in a narrow space--home and its surroundings, say the well where she would go to draw water and socialize with other women-- or am I simply too indoctrinated by feminism? Whatever the case, I've always had trouble identifying with Marcel's obsession with Albertine as with Swann's parallel obsession with Odette, though I love La Recherche as I love its predecessor, Jean Santeuil.