Saturday, August 18, 2007

Reading Proust

Where I am in the novel:

Marcel is still at Balbec with Robert St. Loup and Bloch. Block's family and the Baron de Charlus have all been introduced.

The weird anti-Semitism makes me uncomfortable. I guess only a modern sensibility would blanche, but the term "Israelite" sounds so odd. Nonetheless, an interesting portrait of Bloch's father, uncle and sisters emerges. Again, I had missed all this humor on previous readings. Must have been hoping to get to the sex and violence parts. Just kidding, ha ha.

Bloch made remarks about having been intimate with Odette, and one doesn't know what to believe, except that it could or could not be true. The narrator cries himself to sleep, a true neurasthenic. Proust is so busy describing all the characters that I don't always understand what Marcel the narrator is feeling about these people and encounters.

And the writer Bergotte--I get no sense of his writing from the way the characters discuss him. Is this a flaw or not?



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