Thursday, January 29, 2009

Proust and Photography

I finished reading the slim volume about Proust and Photography, Brassai: Proust and the Power of Photography. What a great book! Brassai was a comtemporary of Proust, and he writes in such a lucid manner (hail to the translater, too), and has so many interesting things to say about Proust and his love, nay, his obsession with photographs and of course his obsession with the image. Brassai gives scads of examples and quotes from Proust's writing, not just "Remembrance" but earlier work and non fiction.

I was quite taken with it. Inspired, I read a few more pages of The Guermantes Way and am determined to finish it before the end of February.

Brassai mentions Poulet and Painter and all the old Proust sources I used to be so familiar with. So many years have passed since I was an undergraduate, but a lust for academia has never quite left although the vocabulary and ways of thinking are, well, gone. When I embraced technology in its many modes I left something behind, although academia and technology requite critical thinking and not making a priori assumptions, there is a still a huge difference, and I don't think I could return to academia withhout a great deal of reprogramming of the brain paths, if you will.

Viva Proust and viva photography. Proust leaves one with so many images. Church spires, the sea at Balbec, the dining room, the Duchesse de Guermantes, the hawthorns, the Combray church windows. Endless wonderful images, as crisp as an apple. Thanks, Marcel.

The other Odette

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