Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Messing with the Classics

Nobody except the Monty Python gang messes with Proust, except respectfully.  Here is a stimulating article.  I am finding more and more good stuff in the Guardian. Update the classics at your own risk  

I don't think anything is actually "sacred" but of course bowdlerizing Mark Twain by removing the "N' word from Huck Finn and substituting "slave" is the height of wrong-mindedness.  Without television and radio and youtube and cell phone cameras and our new devices,  we only have first hand accounts and diaries revealing real speech.  And prudery in  revealing real speech and committing it to  paper and on film was a problem until the sixties when movies came of age and then HBO did it for television.  Can you imagine the Sopranos without the "F" word?  How did they speak in the wild west?  Building the railroads?  On the Erie Canal.   Did the Pony Express riders swear?  Did women?  Ever?  Who knows.

Occasionally Proust surprises us with some comment or sexual revelation, and it's so seldom one hardly knows what to think?   Ah, Marcel, you persist in puzzling me. 

Not being into so-called "celebrities," I have no idea who Jerry Hall is, but I do concur that she probably doesn't read Proust, at least in toto. We could pop over to Britain and give her a pop quiz on which reception was the most boring and on what was served as La Raspeliere at the Verdurin dinners.  Ha ha.  We all flunk. 

Should Proust be updated?  What a Gargantuan task that would be. 



Saturday, March 26, 2011

Become Proust for a Week

This article tells you how to make the Proust tour of Normandy.  Had to admit I was practically drooling, mostly thinking of the oysters, but also the Proustian ambiance in every corner.  Imagine the grande  promenade and the sea views and examining (don't touch!) the tapestries  and driving a convertible and staying in the beloved hotels.  They're not even THAT pricey.  I am practically swooning as my imagination plays out a week like this.

Live Life of Proust for a Week  

Of course, you probably will need a stylish new wardrobe, but no Galliano, please.  Poor man.  It must have been the strain.  Silk and linen and organic  cottons will do, and if jeans, only the skinniest, priciest ones.  Good luggage, natch, maybe some vintage leather Hartmans.  Of course you have a doorman to carry, so wheels not necessary.   Some big wonderful sun glasses, and an old-fashioned wicker picnic hamper with all the accroutements.   How lovely to imagine.  I am just about ready to book my flight.

Vintage Leather Harmann luggage

And we absolutely must visit Elstir's studio.  Oh, alas, he's imaginary but a visit to Giverney will  be a good substitute.

Pack your (vintage) suitcase with some new duds and let's get out of here.  Mais oui!

Wine, Bread, Pate and fruit, n'est pas?

Odette, swooning

Sunday, March 20, 2011

"Proust" concert in The Big Apple

Found on Craig's List, of all crazy things.  Alas, I can't be in New York on this date, but wouldn't it be inspiring to hear the musical works that inspired Proust?  And maybe even catch the "petite phrase" from the Sonata?

If you're a Proustian and in New York, go for it! 

Proust Concert in NYC 

Odette, the Foxborough one

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Goon Squad, Proust and the Sopranos

I loved the HBO series, The Sopranos, I love Proust, and ergo I will surely love Jennifer Egan's prize-winning book, A Visit from the Goon Squad.  Sounds like my cuppa tea with the Madeline dunked in, or maybe an Oreo in milk. 
Read the review here: A Visit From the Goon Squad   Egan said her book was partially inspired by The Sopranos and In Search of Lost Time.  Egad! 

I haven't been posting because a) I've been writing, or rather rewriting, b) social networking to publicize that The Shadow Warriors is on the Kindle c) taking a "pacing" class d) exchanging manuscripts with a friend, and d, well, you know, staying busy.  In addition. the interesting Proust posts have more or less dried up.  Now that doesn't mean that Proust is a flash in the pan; maybe the other bloggers are doing a-d too. 

Feelings of guilt assail me when I neglect our Narrator too long.   The New England winter has been brutal and part of the time I found myself napping and watching TV.  

Here's so a lovely summer in Balbec and a spring with the hawthorns blooming along the byways. 

The Other Odette 

Monday, March 07, 2011

Reading Proust on the Metro?

The interesting Proust posts have dried up, and so has, currently my reading.  I'm editing a just completed novel of mine (suspense), and trying to get another one ready for the Kindle.  And sending out stories and poems.   And taking a class.  And doing "stuff" for my Toastmasters club.  And coping with winter and cooking up a storm and ... well, you know.  I had to read a book for my class, so got that done.  A wonderful literary suspense novel  called, "The Whole World."  Published in 2010.  Proust, I think, would approve. 

Today I found this really cool photo.  Note the sepia tones.  Assume one of the two people reading is reading Proust.  The girl?  Obviously not the whole work but maybe  the first volume. Swann in Love?   It's always wonderful to see someone reading on the commuter train or the subway.  Take a look.  

Reading Proust on the Train  

One of these days I'll get back to Marcel.  By now, I'm so deep into the reading and it has been going on for so long and the plot is the novel itself, so it's not like I have to re-orient myself if I put it down for a couple months.  That's the nice thing about Proust.  You can dip into him over a lifetime once you've read the whole novel once.  And always find something different, something wonderful, something, dare we say it, sublime?  Ah Marcel.