Monday, April 30, 2007

Proust and Vermeer

Proust and his writing are alive and well and living all over the world. Before I began this blog, I had no idea. Now I feel at one with a great wave of readers, working their way thru the volumes, reading and talking about In Search of Love Time.

In Swann's way, Swann toys with an essay on Vermeer.

Yesterday, 4/29/07, Quillhill of Angstadt (what a nom!) writes in his blog (link is above):

"The last trip Marcel Proust made out of his apartment was to see three Vermeers on display at a museum in the Tuileries. In his early years he also traveled to Delft and saw View of Delft. Though we are never told any details about the essay on Vermeer that Charles Swann is ocassionally writing, likely it would have included the epiphany described by the narrator and incorporated with Proust's own experiences in the sixth part of his novel. As in Mr. Jost's film, we quote in conclusion a passage from Proust that sends shivers down our spine:
All that we can say is that everything is arranged in this life as though we entered it carrying a burden of obligations contracted in a former life; there is no reason inherent in the conditions of life on this earth that can make us consider ourselves obliged to do good, to be kind and thoughtful, even to be polite, nor for an atheist artist to consider himself obliged to begin over again a score of times a piece of work the admiration aroused by which will matter little to his worm-eaten body, like the patch of yellow wall painted with so much skill and refinement by an artist destined to be forever unknown and barely identified under the name Vermeer."

And in the Boston Globe yesterday, an interview with a so-called "avant guard" artist, Lydia Davis, who has translated Proust, Swann's Way.

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