Sunday, September 21, 2008

Onscreen Scientist Summarizes Proust

Finally a most worthy post apropos Proust from "Onscreen Scientist," who has completed a second reading of Proust in French, and has also completed the work in English.

My hat is off to him, for several reasons. He is a physicist and a software writer. In another lifetime, I wrote software for a living, and with a few exceptions, this was not a literary crowd. I cannot think of any of my software colleagues who would have read Proust and my conjecture is that few of them would have even known who he was. Perhaps the scientist writes AI software or something besides grinding out business transactions ad nauseum ad infinitum.

I have known a few literary physics majors, most of the professors. I think physics teaches a certain curiosity about the world--well all science should do that except maybe creationism, which is of course not science but pseudo-science like astrology and phrenology and Madame Sostirus, cardreader and fortuneteller. I know people who actually believe this stuff.

But back to Proust. Onscreen Scientist offers a great summation of the book--a bit longer than those in the All England Summarize Proust Contest, and I think he is dead on about Albertine. One just cannot ever quite get a handle on her. She remains, for me, too, a tabula rasa.

Currently, I am wallowing in Mme. Villeparisis' endless party, and in two days I leave for Northern Nevada, a wonderful place for reading Proust but I only travel there with softcovers I can leave behind, and of course, that would not be Proust.

So click ye forth and read Onscreen Scientist's Proust post, and then hie ye to Proust himself, the great one. I was an the New England Independent Booksellers Association Trade Show yesterday and scooped up a wonderful bunch of books.

When people say they don't read, I feel an awful sympathy. How could you not read?

After all, Onscreen Scientists reads the master in French. Zowie!

Odette, the other one

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