Monday, January 31, 2011

Madame Guermantes

It's a movement!  Really weird how all of a sudden bloggers, by which I mean Proust bloggers will jump on the same scene, character, or subject matter of the Great Work.  This week, a blond lady of distinction has that honor.  Have to confess I never liked her, but then if  you really think about it, who except the Grandmother and the narrator (and he sometimes whines)  are really likable in Proust?  I used to be fond of St. Loup, but he became so tedious with Rachel.  Swann was sympathetic, but he seemed remarkably  blind to Odette's faults.  Maybe the volume should have been titled as "Blind In Love," instead of "Swann In Love."  I don't know.  

Think about it.   Do you gossip about your friends?  Do you have just an ever-so-slight love of Schadenfreude?  We are all unsympathetic in many ways.  Long live Proust for portraying us, warts and all.  

Here is another reference to that Guermantes woman.  Madame Guermantes  

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Madame Guermantes

Another blogger who finds Proust's (and Marcel's) relationship with Mme. de Guermantes complex.  I haven't found much in the way of good Proust blogging lately, and I'm been doing edits on a novel of my own, battling the rip-roaring New England winter, and whatever, making big pots of soup to keep us warm.  

In NYC over the weekend, amazed and aghast at the Totally Buried cars, the slush, the possibility of breaking your ankle with a misstep.  And the variety of boots!  More amazing, still. I wore an ancient pair of Sperry  "Marsh Boots," which I call  swamp boots when I am not calling them sh__kickers.  
Just to look at the footwear and the leg wear (anyone for jeggings or skinny jeans?) at the Whitney yesterday in the Edward Hopper show was trippy.  Proust would have been at home at the Whitney, swathed in scarves and greatcoats.  We were all swathed.  

Here is the blogger's link for a good read about the Guermantes lady.  

The duchess de Guermantes  


The Other Odette

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Which Translation of Proust

I am  deep, deep into the Scott Montcrief translation, because those are the volumes I've had since college.  They are ratty and the bindings look like hell, but the age and the tradition redeems these old books in my eyes. Sometime, I will read Lydia Davis, too. 

Here is a literate discussion (aren't all discussions of Proust literate) of the various translations.  The important thing, the only thing is to READ PROUST.   Of course, the original is best, but my rusty, school girl French would never succeed. 

Which Translation of Proust  

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy 2011!

I hope to finish the last books of Temps Perdu this year.   I've been shilly-shallying too long.  Onward.  But please, Marcel, a few less dinner parties. 
No madelines have issued from my kitchen yet, and perhaps that should be another resolution.  Finish Proust, bake Madelines.

Et maintenant?