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


Ann oDyne said...

Staycationing is ecologically admirable, and think of the Deauvillians who long to see Nantucket (or think of those learning English as a second language and who anguish over 'long' having two meanings).

Reading in bed:
My brain is absolutely conditioned to being in the arms of Morphia by page 3, and then waking after about 20 minutes, still holding book, and then reading on as if there had been no mental absence.

Marshall-Stacks said...

just enjoying 1000 Fragranceses a blog about scent, and it has a Proust description of (non-baked) goods scent


Vogues Hommes Internationale magazine with Keanu Reeves on cover and feature interview where he says he is reading Proust.

a bientot, Brownie aka ann odyne

Lorelei V said...

Hi Other Odette!

Just stumbled upon you and thought I would say hello. Have just got halfway there myself (finished The Guermantes Way last night). My blog is I did a day of 'live blogging' Proust a while back - absolutely insane but really fun. Look for the tag on the left side of the blog. Really enjoying it and having two weeks off before I start the next half.

Good luck to you! Read my post from last Friday about the last few pages of Guermantes! Might help you get through to the end if you're still struggling - that salon scene is incredibly difficult to get through, but it is worth it for the red shoes at the end. I truly believe this.

Best, Lorelei

Caroline said...

Actually I could NOT get into vol 7 (don't know correct title in English, too lazy to Google) at ALL, until I brought it w me to the beach. (I am as surprised as you!) This is my 1st reading of Proust (in Swedish though); I've been following your blog for a while now - love it! (PS. Could not agree more on the beauty slash seediness of Galveston!)

Liv said...

I took Sodom & Gomorrah all over the place with me this summer, reading it on the bus, the beach and in the park :)