Lots of people seem to be reading "How Proust Can Change Your Life," but are they actually reading Proust? Methinks not.
I am with the narrator and his grandmother at the Grand Hotel in Balbec. Lots of snobbery and social commentary. The odd thing is that he thinks it being a seaside spa, that the social classes are mixing more than back in Paris, but to me it seems like stratified layers as usual. I loved how Proust described the sea as an ampitheater, and the undulating waves. It was a fantastic description, and one thinks, well, hell, I might as well just pack it in and never write another word.
Proust's name is bandied about greatly, by one and all. The name of all names to drop.
I did see Ratatouille, and observed the great Proustian moment. The movie was fun and I liked the kitchen types--very well done. Did not like Linguini--he seemed really stupid. When a film is hyped too much, one goes in with expectations that may not be matched. Kinda sorta like when a book is hyped too much. It's better to have low expectations and have them exceeded.
The smell of privet in Nantucket is for me a Proustian odor. Brings back all the summers for endless years. Everything has changed but not changed. The bookstore building is for sale. Not good. The Mad Hatter is gone. The Dolphin Guest House is gone. The galleries move around all the time in a stately gavotte. I didn't see anyone reading Proust or even reading How Proust Can Change Your Life.