Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Proustian Summer

No, alas, we aren't traveling to Balbec or wherever. Actually, I always wanted to go to Deauville, and now of course, on to San Sebastian in Spain and the Gehry Guggenheim.

Instead, we are in "staycation" mode, visiting Plymouth and the Plantation and the Mayflower, and the Museum of Science in Boston, making day trips. Blue Man Group is also on the agenda. What do you think Proust would say about Blue Man Group.? Sure ain't the Vinteiul Sontata in Mme. Verdurin's drawing room.

No young girls in flower, although the waitresses at the Plymouth seafood restaurant Cabbyshack were in the same mold, if you move ahead 90 years. Pretty and smiling and athletic-looking. I could see them on their bicycles cycling along the shore.

I tried YET AGAIN to get through the last pages of the Guermantes Way and fell asleep after two pages. This is ridiculous. I'll have to spend an afternoon and not rely on bedtime reading.

Of course Nantucket is a Proustian place, and although it has changed from the ramshackle town I first visited when I was younger, (eeek!), the sunlight and the smell of the hedges and the walk to the beach, even Main Street still hold their familiar sights and patterns. The hedge fund managers and the glitz are welcome to go away, but keep the perfumed hedges. A little seediness is sometimes a good thing. Galveston was always best when it was seedy.

Does anyone take Proust for a beach read? I wouldn't think so. Let me know if YOU do this.

Today is Thisbe's birthday. She has a new mouse and an extra ration of catnip. Wish her nine more years of the wonderful life of a cat in this cat-catering household.

The other Odette

Saturday, July 11, 2009


My old, long down web site was called "Serendipity," probably because as I surfed the web, I found many serendiptious things. Today, browsing through my "favorite" blogs, none of which I read daily, I found this interesting exchange of letters with a big mention of Proust, so go ye forth and click:

Interesting comments about diaries and journals. I have not kept a dairy since 4th grade, and have always envied fellow writers who keep journals. Sometimes, but not often, I keep a travel journal, if the destination is particularly fascinating.

More Birthday Greetings

I just took a gander at a number of blogs purporting to be Proust blogs. Some are abandonned, others have rien to do with Proust, some are in Russian/German. It's a difficult business sorting through "stuff" on the Net. I picked up a hideous virus once, when I unwitting went to a Russian site to look up some song lyrics. Ya can't ever be too careful.

That being said, here's another birthday blog from yesterday.

The cherry caflouti made 8 servings, and 2 are still left. Do I hear it calling my name? Seems like they might have had a caflouti or two at Aunt Leonie's house, don't you think?

I have just GOT to finish The Guermantes Way. Just do it.

Here is a link (you'll have to scroll down) about Proust confronting (or not) his Jewish blood.

The other Odette

Friday, July 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Marcel, Wherever You Are

Maybe in Pere LaChaise, maybe somewhere else. And what a beautiful day (en fin) we have in Foxborough, MA to celebrate the occasion.
I'm making spare ribs on the grill, baked beans, corn on the cob and we'll also enjoy yesterday's cherry caflouti (hey, ya gotta have something French).
I don't know if Francois ever made a caflouti during cherry season. Maybe the family was too la-di-dah. Dunno. We are NOT too la-di-dah.
Happy Birthday, Marcel. Ah to be in the South of France today, perhaps in the hills above Nice or Cannes, perhaps in Normandy or where Proust and his grandmother summered, Balbec. Can't you just smell the briny breeze and see the young girls in flower.
The other Odette

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Summarizing Proust

July is looking good for finding literate Proust blogs. The world has not yet fled to the South of France, the Mediterrean isles, the Hamptons or onto a yacht on Long Island Sound.

What? Quel dommage! You're not going to any of those places? Helas!

When our cat took ill, we had one of those maligned "staycations" with local museums and restaurants benefitting from Chez Odette. Kitty is fine now.

The grad student blogger with a link below has actually Summarized Proust, but not of course, in 15 seconds, that can't be done. Or can it?

Could it happen on Twitter in 142 characters? Want to try?
Odette is feeling very geeky having managed to have her "tweets" show up on Facebook.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Summer Proust Blogging

Lately, I haven't found many Proust blogs worth reporting on, but here is a young blogger who reads and quotes Proust:

For a wonderful Proust essay read Travel in a Garden (link below). In Foxborough as in the rest of New England, gardens are drying out after the June deluges, unremitting and omnipresent. New England looks like England with so much greenery.


Odette, whose Proust reading has again, alas, fallen on evil days.