Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Guermantes Way

Fear not, Odette hasn't abandonned Proust. She is still plugging away at The Guermantes Way, enjoying how Marcel tries to fool Francoise and can't, especially enjoying the visit to the town of Doncierre and the barracks and St. Loup's life and friends there. The back and forth about St. Loup's cousin, the Duchesse of Guermantes, is rather comic.

St. Loup is such a sympathetic character and he has all these problems with his mistress and being a Dreyfusard, and he's so genuinely fond of Marcel. One gets a real sense of the military town and it's good to be outside of Paris and also away from the seaside and Balbec where we spent ever so much time.

So I am liking this volume a lot, although the evening at the opera and Berma seems to go on forever, but the reader is learning about French society, and Proust really takes you there, to Balbec, to Combray, to the opera, everywhere. Of course, nothing much ever happens until it happens, so the suspense is minimal and the conflict is mostly internal.

It's interesting how many of us there are, reading Proust in the year 2008 with all the other possibilities, computer games, movies, IPOD,the net, work,sports, so much stuff, so little time and yet we read Proust.



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