Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Princess Alice Comes Into Her Own in NOLA

Marcel Proust used Princess Alice as a model for one of his female characters, Princesse de Luxembourg.  Proust had many models in society and in the demimonde.  Recently Princess Alice was honored in New Orleans, her birthplace.  What a stretch for a Proust character!  Or is it?
Read about it here: Society Lineage Lives 

By the way, in case you are interested in a Proust summary, not done by Monty Python (remember them?), Wikipedia does a decent job of describing the plot (such as it is) of Proust's great work.
Take a look.  Wikipedia on In Search of Lost Time

Putting On the Ritz

Marcel Proust had a relationship with the Ritz Hotel in Paris as did many notables throughout the hotel's history.

Everyone had an opportunity to buy a piece of the furnishings as the Ritz geared up for a huge remodeling job.

Sad to say,  I didn't buy anything,  Did you?  Read all about it here. A Bit of History, Luxury and Glamour

Friday, January 12, 2018

Watching Proust in New York City

The Proust news of late has been rather boring, and I've also been busy writing and trying to get my novels and short stories published.  But today something Proustian caught my eye that I wanted to share: 

Experiencing Proust in New York City

Writer Jane Lever has this to say: 
A Proust Sonata--a multimedia performance that brings Marcel Proust’s literary masterpiece, In Search of Lost Time, to life—is having its New York debut tonight at the French Institute Alliance Francaise.

So wish I could be there.  These events always sneak up on one.  But if you're reading this today, January 12th, and you're in the Big Apple and you're a Proust groupie, well, there's only one place to be.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Remarkable Proust Archives Sold at Auction

Treasure trove of Proust memorabilia auctioned off.  Wow! Proust Auction

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 2.19.42 PM.png

Intimate letters, photos and other items said to be worth about $800,000.00.  Did you get to bid?  

And this link from the BBC news:  More about the auctioned items

Sotheby's in Paris conducted the auction May 31, 2016.  I can just imagine Proust writing about such an event.  Maybe some of his characters were there.  Anyone from the Jockey Club?  Certainly Swann, and maybe a Duke and Duchess or two.  Can you imagine the scene?  Some tension, enemies crossing paths, the Verdurins snubbed and snubbing.  The bids, the fear of exposure when such personal items go on the auction  block.  One is almost tempted to write such a scene.

This is the time of year everyone would have been at the beach hotels (or private residences), so it was a good thing they had the auction before the summer season started.   

I have been terribly negligent with this blog.  Reading. Writing. Cooking.  Gardening.  Family stuff. 


Here's an extra:  Who made Proust swoon?  

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Catching Up On Proust

Whew!  Busy writing, cooking, gardening, doing the holidays, and racing around in general.  I have neglected Reading Proust in Foxborough, but here is a catch up post, because all the interesting Proust "stuff" that's come into my mailbox has been saved.  

Here are some cool links, in no particular order.  Read on. 

From November 11th.   Who was the woman who made Proust swoon?  Who was the model for the Duchess of Guermantes?

 France Marvels At a Class of Woman Who Made Proust Swoon

From November 19th:  The Albertine Workout.  What is heaven's name is that?  Read on and all shall be revealed.  Not what you think.  No weightlifting or wind sprints.  Some mental exercise involved.  Hey, it's Proust!

Enigmatic writer Anne Carson shares ‘The Albertine Workout’

Anne Carson Reads the Albertine Workout  

Proust: The Search by Benjamin Taylor review – scintillating narrative 

Swooning, scintillating, enigmatic:  we are definitely in Proust territory here. 

A new Proust biography from Yale University Press. 

 Searching for Proust and also lost time 

The Search: A Review 

 Are you exhausted yet?  Read on. 

December 10th, 2015  Proust Forum in Boca

My New York friends who spend part of the winter in Florida are always dismissive of its culture.  You probably were not in Boca Raton on Dec. 10th, but if you were, you, alas, missed an insightful lecture on Swann's Way.   Read on.  Proust and Swann's Way Discussed at Boca Forum 

Lastly, not strictly Proust, but tangential to Proust and I found it interesting to see Proust influencing the third world and you might also. 

January 11, 2016  Delhi, India

The popular writer-blogger talks about Delhi, Marcel Proust, and his days as a hotel waiter. 

 Mayank Austen Soofi is an interesting man.




Saturday, March 21, 2015

Proust's Famous Translator Gets His Own Biography

C. K. Scott Moncrieff, the man who translated most of In Search of Lost Time, Marcel Proust's great masterpiece
À la recherche du temps perdu, now has his own biography.

As a young woman I thought the name, Scott Moncrieff, was the most romantic-sounding name imaginable, and it still resonates with me.  Proust's translater had his job cut out for him.  More than one million words.  Mon Dieu, what a task!

 Chasing Lost Time: The Life of CK Scott Moncrieff by Jean Findlay's is new biography of her (several greats) uncle. Moncrieff had an interesting life of his own.   Moncrieff also translated Luigi Pirandello, although he claimed not to be fluent in Italian.

Here is a link to several articles and reviews of the biography.

The Guardian's Book Review

The Telegraph review

And The Economist

The Wall St. Journal and the New York Times also reviewed the book.

Take a look!  

Friday, October 31, 2014

Is Mondiano the "new" Proust?

Mondiano wins Nobel Prize for Literature

Hard to imagine that anyone could be the new Proust, but such a statement makes one want to read Mondiano, apparently never a big seller in this country.  We don't read a lot of foreign literature except for mysteries and thrillers, of course.   And those are usually late arriving in translations.            

I have discovered there is a Proust reading group in Ft. Lauderdale, a city that I very much like to visit, esp. in the depths of the New England winter, which apparently will begin here Sunday evening just in time for the big football game in Foxborough.  You don't think we all sit dunking our madelines into the camomile while reading Proust all the time, do you?  No.  Some of us are big football fans, as Foxborough is definitely more famous for the New England Patriots than for reading Proust.  But all that may change.  Or not. I would just love to post that the New England Patriots read Proust.  Such a coup. 

I have a new link for you.  Read Proust  Lots of good information and historical facts and verities. 

And if you have read Mondiano, let me know.  Apparently the French Culture Minister has NOT.  Oh, the shame.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

When Proust Met Joyce

NOT like "When Harry Met Sally."  Proust and Joyce met at the Hotel Majestic in Paris in 1922.  They didn't particularly take to each other.  Well, opposites don't always attract.  Wouldn't you have liked to have been a mouse in the woodwork or a fly on the ceiling? The hotel hosted other famous guests.  Ah, Paris!

Read all about it. Where Proust Met Joyce

Proust Complains of Noisy Neighbor

Our friend on 5th Avenue in New York, lives in an apartment where renovations have been proceeding apace next door.  Plaster dust, banging, rattling, drilling and all the noise that accompanies a remodeling have been her constant companion for months.

Imagine if your neighbor is Proust, and he complains to you in heartfelt letters about YOUR noise.  Ye Gods!  what would you do?  Read on.   Found in The New Yorker

The Sympathetic Spy Downstairs

The "Little Phrase" rears its melodic head again

I have actually been reading the last volume of Proust and I do find it more enjoyable than all the many words about Albertine, who had become quite tiresome.  Now I love Ravel and will have to listen to this music.  Alas, the blog has gone quiet of late as I try to finish my own novel and deal with lots of challenges such as many houseguests, the garden, a torn rotator cuff and so on.

Take a look at this post and visit I-tunes.  Vinteuil Played a Sunny Melody

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Reading Proust Aloud in Amherst

I have to hand it to this book group.  Reading Proust aloud (with a nice cup of tea) was a singular accomplishment.  The second time around they skipped a bit.  In my book (third reading) I'm going to skip the rest of Albertine.  Seems awfully repetitive and I have totally bogged down.  Onward.

Here is the link to the Amherst group.  They are a hardy, persistent group.

Reading Proust Aloud in Amherst

Amherst, like Foxborough is in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts where they know a thing or two about literature and persistence.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Goethe-Institut Reads Proust

Last week  we heard a riveting talk on Proust at the Goethe- Institut on Beacon Street in Boston's Back Bay. Susanne Klingenstein rocked the room with her scholarly observations on Proust and how to read him. Much food for thought.  I had never entertained the idea that nature was strongly allied with sex for Proust, and I'll never read about those hawthorns the same way again.  Of course Odette's orchids were strongly sexual.  Klingenstein posited that some many of the characters behaved badly (or stupidly) in Proust due to ennui.   I am going to have to examine these thoughts with more reading.  The audience had read Proust in French, German and of course, English and had interesting ideas of its own.

Right now I am reading Rowling's The Cuckoo's Calling  and finding some of the same snide comments of London society that Proust delivered apropos Parisian society.   

I am wondering if there are any versions of Proust with quotation marks for dialog and with real paragraphs instead of that daunting dense text.  Anybody know?  

Must update my Proust library, as well, because Klingenstein recommended a couple books about him and reading him that had not crossed by radar.  Still mired in my academic years of yore, I fear. 

 I didn't catch the date, but the Goethe-Institut will read the last volume for discussion at a later date.  The reception that ends the book is my most favorite section. Can't wait to read it again, in fact I'm going to ditch dreary Albertine and head to the end.  It's not cheating, as I've read it before. 

Odette, the one with no orchids.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Photo of Proust in Venice

I can just imagine Proust all bundled up on a warm day in Venice.  How it must  have thrilled him to be there.  The first view of Venice, when traveling down the Grand Canal, does not disappoint. 
Take a look. Proust on Travel 
I wonder what he ate.   My two favorite Venetian meals were the "Treasures of the Adriatic," a fantastic plate of seafood whose memory makes me want to drool, and the appetizer of ravioli with cheese sauce at Harry's Bar.  The Bellinis were nothing special, but ye gods, that heavenly pasta and the incomparable cheese  sauce against which all future sauces must be compared and found lacking. 

The pizza, however, was molto mediocre.  Dumb to order pizza in Venice, yes?