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.


No comments: