Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tout Le Monde is Blogging Proust

The Inkblotter At the King’s English has some thoughtful remarks about Swann’s Way and the Grandmother. It’s always great to find a new Proust blog.


On the Road to Library School: where would we be without libraries? And Proust? And checking Proust out of the library?


This writer really can summarize Proust, and he summed up Swann’s Way very nicely.
Don’t you wish everyone could be so terse, yet eloquent?


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Parsing Proust Through Sentence Diagrams

Sailor John tackles not only Proust but the diagramming of important sentences. I tell you, no way would I tackle a sentence diagram. In high school, we spent endless hours doing it. I hated it, but later came to understand that taking apart a sentence into its various parts of speech gave me a pretty good understanding of sentences. But Proust, yikes!


Friday, March 21, 2008

A Proust Reader "Thinks It Through"

I discovered someone who is just about at the same spot in Proust that I am, maybe a few pages ahead, but not much.


Good luck and perseverance to him (?) while we journey on toward that unbelievable ending. Proust's ending was stupendous and it did not disappoint.

Most of my reading now is background for the novel I am beginning which is set in 1928 Southern California. I am reading Upton Sinclair's Oil which the award-winning film, There Will Be Blood was based on. It's very good. First Sinclair book I've read, obviously an important omission.

But Proust remains on my nightstand and is given his due. Just not a race to the finish, no, no.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Reading Proust Again

Still working my way through the ways and wiles and sorrows of Madame de Villeparisis. Our narrator is at her reception with Bloch and the term "bluestocking" is in use. I wonder what the original French word was.

Lots of talk about rising and falling in society, with veiled speculation that the fallen ladies are perhaps just that, those who in their youth committed indiscretions that can't be forgiven. This topic of the social fall of Mme. Villeparisis and three of her cronies has been going on for page after page. Nonetheless, it's interesting, and Proust remarks that if she were "in society," she wouldn't have time for her memoirs and the social lions or course are too busy at dinner parties and balls and receptions to have time for memoir, so in this case, history is written, so to speak, by the loosers, not the victors. How subtle of Proust to have noticed that. The man is a genius.

From Wikipedia: Bluestocking
Bluestocking is a disparaging term, no longer in common use, for an educated, intellectual woman. 'Bluestocking' may also refer to:
Bluestockings (bookstore)
Bluestockings Journal
Blue Stockings Society (England), a women's movement based on the French movement

Monday, March 17, 2008

Proust and Debelief

The blogger below exhibits wonderment that Proust's work exists at all. The massive task, the writing and thought and rewriting and trying to get it right. It took most of his life, and in his last years he holed up in his cork-lined room and wrote and wrote.

The discipline that took, from a person who had not formerly exhibited any particular discipline. Proust, we salute you.



Saturday, March 15, 2008

Letters from a Librarian

This blog just mentions Proust with respect to the "little phrase" of Vinteiul, but what a lovely blog. The illustrations are so wonderful. I was somehow envious of anyone standing in line for an espresso and thinking literary thoughts, so different from my pedestrian life in Foxborough.


Read down for the Proust mention.

State Street, another cool blogger, has picked up Proust, seamlessly, after a long absence. That is the thing with Proust--he's like imagining an old lover with whom you reconnect and there's no sense of having been away for long. In a sense, Proust is always the old lover, waiting in the wings, to reconnect. A jealous impossible lover, except for the prose, the lovely prose, but I do ramble.


Friday, March 14, 2008

How Proust Can Change Your Life

Inexcusable really, to have dribbled off on my posting. The blogs lately have not inspired, and I've been catching up on magazines after being away for a week. Working on three novels and a short story. Cooking up a storm. Working out. Brushing the cat. Reading about Eliot Spitzer. Well, you know. Making travel plans.

Life intrudes on blogging. Started yet another blog entitled The Cheeseparer. Blogging is thinking aloud.

Anyway, here is the one blog I found worthy of mention: http://nathanhondros.blogspot.com/2008/03/how-proust-can-change-your-life.html

The copy of Proust on my nightstand gently reproaches. I promise to do better next week. We have been eating some French food, however. Does that count? Non? I thought not.



Friday, March 07, 2008

Lydia Davis on Proust

Here is the link: http://acxis.wordpress.com/2008/03/06/proust/

I haven't returned to Proust Mode since back from Florida. Davis is referring, I believe, to the narrator's seeing the Duchesse de Guermantes in church at Combray.

In the part of the book I am reading, he is living in the same building and frequently stalking (what we would now call it) the Duchesse, who seems to find him annoying like a mosquito that buzzes around one's head.

I wonder if anyone has catagloged all the examples of unrequited love in Proust. Yikes! The list would be endless, beginning with Swann and on through the dramatic personnae. Is there any requited love? I shall have to look. Perhaps the painter and his wife. Oh, can't remember for sure.

I do hope to engage the narrator again soon. Perchance ce soir?


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Proust wrote a novel not a memoir

Proust used his life to write his novel, and a novel is fiction. It's unfortunate that writers and agents and editors can't seem to get this straight. These faux-memoirs would be written as novels, probably wonderful novels, if the literary establishment and the public responded to the fictionalized story as strongly as they do to so-called memoir. And so we tut-tut over the literary scandals and messes which surfaced this week, not one but three!

Ernest Hemingway stated that "All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened." This understanding, alas, seems to be lost.

I'm glad that Proust had enough sense to know the difference between fiction and memoir and to write his great novel instead of his "memories." All his memories are in the novel, shaped and honed to perfection. How clever and insightful he is.

For more information of the latest literary scandals (and Proust loved nothing better than a good gossip) read here: http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/authors/but_margaret_jones_promised_it_was_true_79038.asp