Saturday, September 29, 2007

Madame Proust revisted

I have snagged a copy of Madame Proust, and now there is a Hobson's choice facing me. Do I drop everything and read about Proust's old mum, or do I continue my slow trek through Time Past? Of course, there is no law against reading multiple books at once--my nightstand looks like a lending library, so perhaps after Kerouac (almost done) I can dip into it. Something about a brand new book. One just can't wait to read a few pages.

NEIBA is over, and our New England Crime Writing Crew judged it to be a successful endeavor. All those books! Sigh.

What a delightful dilemna! Shouldn't they all be like this?


Friday, September 28, 2007

Madame Proust

If you happen to be in the vicinity of Urbana-Champaign, drop in on the lecture about Proust's mother. I know I read somewhere that instead of his dear grandmother, he was really writing about his mother, and we all know from the opening chapter that he was a real mama's boy.

The University of Chicago exhibit at NEIBA has a copy of this book in their booth, which I am coveting greatly, since all things Proust are grist for the New England mill here.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Dehumanization of Love?

Proust is popular? Well, o.k., in some circles, not in mine, but I live far from academia, alas.
Nonetheless, the blogger has given us food for thought.

There are many good links off the PEN blog. Follow them.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Literary Blog and On the Road

A blog with a list of books every critic should have in his/her library, and of course In Search of Lost Time is there. What I really love is the fox drawing.

I'm just about finished with a new reading of On the Road, and except for a few lyrical descriptions, I'm very disappointed. The phrase "running around like a chicken with its head cut off" comes to mind. Maybe I have grown old. Maybe I have grown up. The book now makes me sad. The energy consumes itself. Dean Moriarty has become extremely tedious.
How did this happen? Racing through the great American night no longer hath charms. The old doper in New Orleans is the only character I find sympatish.

Maybe too much time has passed. Time. Passed. Eeeek!


Monday, September 24, 2007

Proust online in English and French

Proust available in English and in French online! This looks like a great web site and I want to check some of the weird translations of menu items from the French to the English.

Last night I read more of the narrator's first formal introduction to Albertine, a shape shifter if there ever was one, at least in his head. The little band is interesting, with their golf clubs and their bicycles. They sound almost- - - liberated. He assumes they are mistresses of bicycle racers. Ah, the bad assumptions we all make. And of course Marcel is not exactly athletic by any standards, au contraire! And they know the artist Elstir in a kind of casual way, the way locals know each other in Nantucket. Elstir admits being a past habitue of the the Verdurins' soirees, and I loved what he said to Marcel about it. I'll quote when I remember to drag the book down to the computer's area.



Saturday, September 22, 2007

Albertine Asleep

Orange Crate Art has another interesting post this week.

I remember the Sleeping Albertine scene in all its obsessiveness.

For a few weeks, due to travel and obligations, I have put the great tome down on my nightstand and taken up "lighter" reading, although I don't know how light The Poisonwood Bible is. Not very. I need a kick in the pants to get going again.

We entertained last night, but the Duchesse Guermantes reception it wasn't. This is, after all, Foxborough, and maybe Manchester-by-the-Sea would be grand enough for the Duchesse. Come to think of it, Boston wouldn't be her cup of tea, and the famous Guermantes wit would be lost on us.

Alas, alas,


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Little Miss Sunshine Gives Proust a Push?

SLUNCH has an interesting post, and I agree that the Little Miss Sunshine movie might have moved some readers into Marcel's radar, so to speak.

Serendipitous, wouldn't you say?

Odette who is having a very busy week and wishes for a good (even if grumbling) servant like Francois.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Landscapes of the Heart

The image was taken above the tiny town of Gerlach, Nevada in the northern part of the state, where, excepting Winnemucca, only 800 souls live. No Guermantes or Meseglise Ways to walk, although you can walk around town and out to the old glass dump, and various funky places. I read all of The Poisonwood Bible, and could have just as easily finished the first volume of Proust, but I never travel with a hard cover.
The imagination boggles thinking of an early 20th century Parisian in these vast empty landscapes. What would he have thought? The wind. The dust. The aridity. And yes, the beauty.
Here is a link to Pamuk blogging Proust. I think everyone who's anyone is blogging Proust. Weird, isn't it?
Odette, still shaking the dust from her shoes

Friday, September 07, 2007

Proust Not A Beach Read

Today the Wall Street Journal had a column about summer ambitions, and Donna Shalala wanted to read Proust. She didn't. Proust's great epic is not a summer read, not an easy read. The novel requires persistence, even stubbornness. And the reader has to think and ponder and analyze, not just turn pages. It's. . .work.

But rewarding. Just working one's way through all that time. Regaining it even. Major accomplishment.

I'm travelling to darkest Nevada (not Vegas) this coming week, and won't be posting, nor will I be reading Proust, as the volume is too heavy to travel with. I'm not travelling light. A journey to Outer Mongolia with a camel caravan would require less stuff than I'm schlepping. So be it.

So au revoir until the 17th. Odette

Monday, September 03, 2007

Remembrance of Proust Past

Finally found another blog I could recommend:!C7E18603B826B898!127.entry

Proust has been temporarily abandonned on my nightstand, but I can tell you this:.
I re-read some of Kerouac in a Beat Generation anthology and I was a tad disappointed.

I have noticed that with few exceptions(books I read on vacation), since I've taken up Proust, nothing else has had any literary appeal. Two books assigned for a plotting class? Put down each before 50 pages. Poisonwood Bible? Not quite into it. So, this seems to be something between me and Proust right now, and I am his faithful lover.

Who would have thunk it?