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. 



1 comment:

Photographe à Dublin said...

I've just, with great pleasure, found your blog.

For me, Proust is at his most proustean in writing about Venice. I did not have time to visit the Fortuny museum while there, but when I saw the name, Proust instantly came to mind.