Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The All England Summarize Proust Contest

This is a classic. You have to admire Maud's mother-in-law. Obviously a lady with a certain amount of leisure.

Everyone is blogging Madame Proust as well as her great son. See below:

And yet more literary musings. Did I list this yesterday?

Sometimes it seems the entire world is Proust obsessed, except here in the Boston area where we in Red Sox Nation are World Series and the-end-of-a-perfect-baseball- season obsessed. The fete yesterday was one for the books. It's like a tsunami of energy is rolling onward.

My question: after Proust secluded himself in the cork-lined room, did he still want to go out into society? Maybe some of my readers know the answer. I have Painter's biography, but have not perused it lately.



Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Crazed Authors

This blogger is a person after my own heart. It's not often that anyone mentions Proust and Kerouac in the same breath, although Odette has been known to. It's comforting to think of kindred souls all over the world. Makes the universe less lonely.

Look at the Proust photo and then the cat in a previous blog. You must admit, the likeness is there.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Do French Scholars Read Proust?

updated 10/31/07

Apparently they (scholars) skim Proust. Kind of heavy lit to "skim." I think Professor Bayard is teasing the interviewer. In fact, they seem to be having a vicious little fliration. He is photographed all in black of course. Just like Bernard Henri Levi. Wonder if they know each other.

Inquiring minds want to know:

The man is saying Proust is unreadable and Proust is eminently readable. What's a reader to do? Plow ahead. I see nothing wrong with dipping in here and there. Seems like that was how I read Proust the first time. Granted, the dips were extended ones, kind of like swimming the channel but not the Atlantic.

I am back with Madame Proust, and trying to figure out what to make of all this mother and son business, and how the parents learned he was gay and all the pussing footing around and then suddenly weird four letter words tossed into letters. It's like I'm reading two books at once. Or something.

I have to confess there are beaucoup books I've read and forgotten. Lots of popular fiction is throw-away, read and forget. I won't forget The Poisonwood Bible, however. Or Lost Time.

In my writing life (yes, there is that), I need to read a couple of books in the next week, enter the Gather/Borders contest and work on my web page, so Proust and I may not meet until mid-November, but Madame Proust will be my companion. She is an interesting woman in her own right and the family life seems typical and yet a little strange.

I am perplexed, but that is nothing new.


It's great to be a member of Red Sox Nation. What a team! What a game! What heart they displayed! I couldn't go to sleep last night from the late hour excitement. But then I had HTML dreams.



Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday is Cat Blog Day

French Cats but without berets. Doesn't this cat remind you of Marcel? Weird.
When I googled the images of French Cats, all sorts of feline possibilities appeared. I don't think Timmy is French at all, rather English, but he must have gone on holiday in France.
What do you think?
A frost is coming to Foxborough this week, and I must hobble out and rescue the geraniums and the last two tomatoes along with the kalanchoe and the miniature rose. Now where to put everything for the winter. Where is the orangerie when you need it? Did Swann have an orangerie? A dovecote? What do we really know about his garden?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Narrator, Neglected

Eeek! It's been a hideous Proustian dry spell, with no reading of Lost Time and not even any progress in Madame Proust.

Odette broke her foot and her ankle (major bummer) and has been taking a novel plotting course and an HTML class, and getting ready for a writer's conference and stuff like that. Reading Ridley Pearson instead of Proust, can you believe it?

Now if I wrote like Proust, I wouldn't need a plotting course, because I could use my life as a plot, except that taking HTML courses and reading Ridley Pearson don't sound as though they would provide any kind of plot at all. Not literary, certainly not genre, not even mainstream fiction, whatever that is. Does it exist anymore? Seems like there's thriller and paranormal and fantasy and romance and a few actual mainstream books like The Kite Runner, but not many of those. What is mainstream fiction anyhow? Anxious minds want to know.

I also began a new novel, not crime fiction, titled, Such Stuff As Dreams. Sort of a historical mainstream romance, but not a gloppy romance, a kind of tough romance. Well, we'll see what kind it is. I do have a plot, though, and turning points, and archetypes and all that jazz.

So Odette has not been dawdling, except her poor injured foot has turned all sorts of interesting colors and refuses to fit into anykind of shoe except a big klunky sneaker. No stillettos, no pumps, no cut little ballet shoes, no boots. Nada. Shapeless houseshoes, mostly. Madame Swann would be appalled. So am I.

Au revoir!


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Madame Proust again

A link to a talk given by the author of Madame Proust.

Hope she comes to the Boston area. After all, isn't it the hub of the universe? Films like "Gone, Baby, Gone," reviewed in today's Globe, would have us believe Boston is the little tight-knit place, corrupt and incestuous, a place where a local dare not get too big for his britches. (Interesting old expression). Think Whitey Bulger.

But we have rambled far from Proust. On the other hand, the Vinteuil's little clan, with it's rules and loyalties, isn't so different from Southie. A great writer always expresses universal truths in the particular, and the more particular, then the more universal. I am not comparing Dennis Lehane to Proust, but any good writer can paint a scene and characters such that we recognize it immediately, by relating it to our own experiences. Growing up, coming of age, the old neighborhood, enough meat for an infinite number of novels.

Back to my HTML studies.



Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Isabelle Archer reads Proust

Lost Time is indeed a good cure for insomnia, as no one has ever accused the great work of being a "page turner" or a tome which one might excitedly stay up all right to read.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Everyone's Reading

Not only is everyone reading and blogging Proust, but everyone is reading Madame Proust, too.

Michael Leddy's take:

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A Votre Santé or Proust!

Sometimes the funniest things on the net are the least deliberate. I couldn't understand the photo caption until I remembered that the German word for "cheers" is "Prost," short for Prosit. Maybe now there is a new toast. Proust!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Random Links and Musings

Arrrrgh! An HTML course and a novel plotting course are occupying my time along with my busted foot and ankle, and now, of course, the tasks are piling up.

Here are a couple of Proust blogs you might find edifying or entertaining or whatever.
One hopes to amuse.

Proust Dreams of Marcelle

Proust and more Proust

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Weirdest Proust Post of the Year

This has to be a put-on, but then, who knows? Anyone for a precocious four-year-old?

Mordecai reads Proust:

Odette, of late, has read no Proust. The reasons? I got out of the habit on my trip to Nevada. Nevada and Proust don't meld nearly as well as Foxborough and Proust. And then I had been gadding about all summer and having house guests and then post-Nevada a big dinner party, and then eeek! it's almost October, and there were a number of icky things on the to-do list that just wouldn't disappear and then October comes in and I have to get ready for my HTML class with a finished design of the web site and now there is a plotting class, and I realize the characters is the book-to-be are all cardboard, so I try to get to know them a little better, and there's a speaking "gig" for Sisters In Crime which needs a soupcon of prep, and here it is today and did I mention that I broke my frigging ankle a week ago which should be a fool-proof reason to sit and read Proust all day, but I have felt like lighter fare, such as Harlan Coben and Ridley Pearson, and also I became absorbed in Madame Proust.

Do you get the picture? When I finish the Pearson book, I'll return to Proust. So this should be an exciting month with beginning my new novel (not crime fiction) and the class for the web site. And fall is pretty is New England and Foxborough and...and...and.

What do you think of Mordecai?


Monday, October 08, 2007

Albertine Murdered?

The variety of Proust musings is truly staggering. A blurb on Milan Kundera, a mountain hike and the mysterious lady.

I continue my trek through Madame Proust. It's lonely reading Proust in Foxborough.


Saturday, October 06, 2007

Blogging Proust Again

Here is a synthesis of a number of Proust blogs from the net.

Blend of Proust and Page Turner?

Harold Nicholson meets Proust

Fire in the Blood

My reading of Madame Proust continues. Proust's mother was, I believe the term is, an enabler. Such a fascinating study of mother and son. Describes a terrible asthma attack. A classic study of the hovering mother and the distant father.



Wednesday, October 03, 2007

October is Proust Month?

The blogger below states that October is Proust Month. I don't know if this is a universal celebration or only his. This is the link:

I'm reading Madame Proust and finding good insights into the narrator as a young man, and also learning that he was 7 on that famous night at the beginning of the book.