Friday, October 31, 2014

Is Mondiano the "new" Proust?

Mondiano wins Nobel Prize for Literature

Hard to imagine that anyone could be the new Proust, but such a statement makes one want to read Mondiano, apparently never a big seller in this country.  We don't read a lot of foreign literature except for mysteries and thrillers, of course.   And those are usually late arriving in translations.            

I have discovered there is a Proust reading group in Ft. Lauderdale, a city that I very much like to visit, esp. in the depths of the New England winter, which apparently will begin here Sunday evening just in time for the big football game in Foxborough.  You don't think we all sit dunking our madelines into the camomile while reading Proust all the time, do you?  No.  Some of us are big football fans, as Foxborough is definitely more famous for the New England Patriots than for reading Proust.  But all that may change.  Or not. I would just love to post that the New England Patriots read Proust.  Such a coup. 

I have a new link for you.  Read Proust  Lots of good information and historical facts and verities. 

And if you have read Mondiano, let me know.  Apparently the French Culture Minister has NOT.  Oh, the shame.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

When Proust Met Joyce

NOT like "When Harry Met Sally."  Proust and Joyce met at the Hotel Majestic in Paris in 1922.  They didn't particularly take to each other.  Well, opposites don't always attract.  Wouldn't you have liked to have been a mouse in the woodwork or a fly on the ceiling? The hotel hosted other famous guests.  Ah, Paris!

Read all about it. Where Proust Met Joyce

Proust Complains of Noisy Neighbor

Our friend on 5th Avenue in New York, lives in an apartment where renovations have been proceeding apace next door.  Plaster dust, banging, rattling, drilling and all the noise that accompanies a remodeling have been her constant companion for months.

Imagine if your neighbor is Proust, and he complains to you in heartfelt letters about YOUR noise.  Ye Gods!  what would you do?  Read on.   Found in The New Yorker

The Sympathetic Spy Downstairs

The "Little Phrase" rears its melodic head again

I have actually been reading the last volume of Proust and I do find it more enjoyable than all the many words about Albertine, who had become quite tiresome.  Now I love Ravel and will have to listen to this music.  Alas, the blog has gone quiet of late as I try to finish my own novel and deal with lots of challenges such as many houseguests, the garden, a torn rotator cuff and so on.

Take a look at this post and visit I-tunes.  Vinteuil Played a Sunny Melody

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Reading Proust Aloud in Amherst

I have to hand it to this book group.  Reading Proust aloud (with a nice cup of tea) was a singular accomplishment.  The second time around they skipped a bit.  In my book (third reading) I'm going to skip the rest of Albertine.  Seems awfully repetitive and I have totally bogged down.  Onward.

Here is the link to the Amherst group.  They are a hardy, persistent group.

Reading Proust Aloud in Amherst

Amherst, like Foxborough is in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts where they know a thing or two about literature and persistence.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Goethe-Institut Reads Proust

Last week  we heard a riveting talk on Proust at the Goethe- Institut on Beacon Street in Boston's Back Bay. Susanne Klingenstein rocked the room with her scholarly observations on Proust and how to read him. Much food for thought.  I had never entertained the idea that nature was strongly allied with sex for Proust, and I'll never read about those hawthorns the same way again.  Of course Odette's orchids were strongly sexual.  Klingenstein posited that some many of the characters behaved badly (or stupidly) in Proust due to ennui.   I am going to have to examine these thoughts with more reading.  The audience had read Proust in French, German and of course, English and had interesting ideas of its own.

Right now I am reading Rowling's The Cuckoo's Calling  and finding some of the same snide comments of London society that Proust delivered apropos Parisian society.   

I am wondering if there are any versions of Proust with quotation marks for dialog and with real paragraphs instead of that daunting dense text.  Anybody know?  

Must update my Proust library, as well, because Klingenstein recommended a couple books about him and reading him that had not crossed by radar.  Still mired in my academic years of yore, I fear. 

 I didn't catch the date, but the Goethe-Institut will read the last volume for discussion at a later date.  The reception that ends the book is my most favorite section. Can't wait to read it again, in fact I'm going to ditch dreary Albertine and head to the end.  It's not cheating, as I've read it before. 

Odette, the one with no orchids.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Photo of Proust in Venice

I can just imagine Proust all bundled up on a warm day in Venice.  How it must  have thrilled him to be there.  The first view of Venice, when traveling down the Grand Canal, does not disappoint. 
Take a look. Proust on Travel 
I wonder what he ate.   My two favorite Venetian meals were the "Treasures of the Adriatic," a fantastic plate of seafood whose memory makes me want to drool, and the appetizer of ravioli with cheese sauce at Harry's Bar.  The Bellinis were nothing special, but ye gods, that heavenly pasta and the incomparable cheese  sauce against which all future sauces must be compared and found lacking. 

The pizza, however, was molto mediocre.  Dumb to order pizza in Venice, yes?

Proust and Food

The young narrator Marcel is fascinated by the peas and asparagus in Aunt Leonie's kitchen. 

The Vicarious Foodie Blog

Proust talks about art and literature and is not above a good gossip, but he also notes the work of the kitchen maids and observes the preparations and color and texture of the vegetables.  Such great writing.  The asparagus, of course, is the white variety, so beloved in the springtime across Northern Europe.  Proust was no exception.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Pinter Reads Proust. Pinter produces Proust.

Drat!  I had no idea there would be a Pinter/Proust performance at the 92nd St. Y last week.  It's not all that difficult to nip down to the Big Apple from Foxborough, and there's a friend with a sleeper  sofa!  Oh, she was actually visiting us.  Well,  crap.  Anyhow I missed it.

Here's a fun write up, that even mentions Monty Python's Summarize Proust contest. 

Pinter and Proust   This is a good article both for Proust and Pinter fans.

Another informative article apropos Proust is here: The Nation wrote about Proust. And wrote and wrote and wrote


Update:  yet another article linkWhen Pinter adapted Proust 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

100 Years of Everything Proust

In spite of the 100th anniversary of the first volume of Proust, Swann's Way,  relatively little in the way of anything new has come across my desk or  via the computer as it were.  Nonetheless, a new articles for  you to peruse.

Here is one.  Proust as Wizard: Look Out Harry Potter!                          

The Nation has wisely been following Proust for almost 100  years.  What other publication can make that boast?