When you read Proust and learn to appreciate his extraordinary dreamy hypnotic truly inimitable style this review is a mere shadow on the wall of a Platonic cave which succeeds in making the syntax of language usually as invisible as air into a tangible element so that like literary yogis we may feel for the first time how enjoyable the simple activity of reading like breathing can be and discover the delights of sentences which took the author days to construct and us an hour to read unpacking layers of subordinate clauses to discover nestling inside their crisp folds a simile as unexpected and delicious as a Swiss chocolate rabbit wearing a yellow marzipan waistcoat and carrying an edible rake found in its cocoon of tissue paper under a lilac bush during a childhood Easter egg hunt or steaming across the calm waters of a limpid rammatical lake in the capable hands of Captain Marcel and his crew confident that they know the route from Singing the Kyrgyz Manas: Saparbek Kasmambetov's Recitations of Epic Poetry generations of experience and will in due time exactly on schedule arrive at the main verb pointing us tourists to it with justifiable understated pride then you willradually come to identify with the alchemical author spending twenty years sitting propped up by pillows in his velvet dressing own transmuting the lead of his accumulated experience into old surrounded by Tattooed Beauties: The World's Most Beautiful Tattoo Models: English Edition galley proofs which he constantly rereads and revises pasting in a parenthesis in the middle of this sentence an apposition in that so that the papers areradually festooned like bizarre Christmas decorations with loops and curlicues of afterthoughts and waiting for life his unfaithful mistress to leave him simultaneously knowing that it is inevitable and also that she will never do so at least as long as this the reatest and strangest of all novels is still not uite finished I took today off work because I need to put everything I own into boxes so I can move tomorrow but obviously I can t begin doing that until I et some of these obsessive thoughts about Proust out of my system I mean can I Nope I can t After all this house is where I read Proust wait I read Swann s Way before I moved here which is pretty nuts to think about and so how can I move without reviewing the whole thingI do feel pretty traumatized after finishing this book Sort of shellshocked and confused with all these half formed thoughts and intense inexplicable feelings bouncing around in me and I don t know what to do with them or myself Yesterday I wound up sitting in my friend s bar explaining Proust s aesthetic theories but that kind of behavior ll Founding Mothers get you kicked out of most places and is not really becoming a young lady And obviously that s where this website comes in what is it for if not to unload just this kind of mental baggageReading Proust made me wish I were of a scholar so I could try to puzzle out some kind of literary context for what this book is I feel like people think of Proust as being stuffy and old fashioned and all crusty and ancient but I think a lot of that has to do with the subject matter a lost time with superficial resemblance to Jane Austen s milieu so it s kind of shocking to remember what else wasoing on while he was writing this I know this is dumb and there re much better comparisons but I kept thinking while reading this that it was like thinking your whole life that New York punk in the seventies was all about the Ramones and imagining you really The Pirate Queen: Queen Elizabeth I, Her Pirate Adventurers, and the Dawn of Empire got what wasoing on then from just listening to that but then when you re in your mid twenties someone suddenly plays you Television for the first time and you re like what Like you think you know what modernism is it s like Ulysses or whatever but then you find out it s Tracking Daddy Down got this completely insane cousin across the river who s just doing all these things that appear at first to have no relationship at all to everything you ignorantly thought you kind of understood at least a little bit before Again I m not much of a scholar and what I m saying probably doesn t make any sense To be honest I don t even know what modernism means I just know it sounds literary I think what I m trying toet at is that the relevance of Proust s concerns to his time aren t immediately obvious because his approach to them initially seems so weird and unfamiliar But then you realize while you re in it that Proust is actually so much of his time it s incredible and that what he s saying and doing was hugely innovative and exciting at the beginning of the last century and actually I d say remains as much so today And I just kind of wish that I knew about art and literature and whatnot so I could tie it all in better since I sense there re all these fascinating connections and reference points but I don t know what they are I d sort of like to sneak into some college class or something where they re reading Proust and listen in or at least steal their syllabus do they even read Proust in college I feel like they don t I mean I never heard of him when I was in college or after I really hadn t I honestly had no idea who Proust was until I started hanging out on this websiteAnyway for me the most relevant contemporary writer I thought of while reading this wasn t a novelist A little
*background i always *I always loathed the discipline of psychology and thought it was stupid When I unwittingly enrolled in social work school I was dismayed to discover that Cooked: From the Streets to the Stove, from Cocaine to Foie Gras getting my MSW involved reading pages and pages of precisely this stuff I d always looked down on My happy discovery was that Freud at least was actually a fabulous writer and a lot of his ideas are totally fascinating and very beautiful What I realized finally is that I just resented psychology for its pretension of pretending it s a science But actually psychology s concerns and sometimes even their expression are hugely significant among the most significant and kind of wonderful In fact I decided I love psychology as long as it knows its place and realizes it s an art not a science Freud said he wanted his case histories to read like short stories so I think he understood this Proust of course took this to an extreme by exploring essentially the same territory not in a short story but in an extraordinarily long and in some ways kind of ridiculous novel In Search of Lost Time is about the development of the mind the experience of consciousness the influence of past events and relationships on one s emotions and behavior all the same stuff Freud cared about only it made sense to me here presented this wayI completely lost my shit reading the last couple pages of this book and broke down on some fundamental level in a way I imagine was akin to what you canet from really top shelf psychotherapy Towards the end of the book Proust explains everything he s been trying to do and just did in writing
this novel It s his theory of art and specifically of literature and it s pretty hard to arguenovel It s his theory of art and specifically of literature and it s pretty hard to argue since you ve watched him just do it One of the things that Proust says is that readers of his book would not be my readers but readers of themselves my book serving merely as a sort of magnifying Fat glass such as the optician of Combray used to offer to a customer so that through my book I wouldive them the means of reading in their own selves p 384 I uess that could sound unexciting ripped out of context but he really does do this and it truly is astounding I felt throughly convinced by Proust s theory of what art is for and as far as I m concerned he was totally successful in accomplishing his aims Like psychotherapy ISoLT attempts to dive into the murk of the unconscious past to retrieve experiences and cognitions that have become inaccessible Proust dives in and swims down to the bottom and he finds them and he rabs them and he brings them back up and then hands them to you Which is pretty nuts I mean it s intense I feel fucked up from itHm I thought I wanted to talk about this book but maybe I just want to pack up my shit after all I really do want to review this book but maybe it s too soon It s a really insane novel and there s tons of stuff in it I d really love to dork out about on here but yeah maybe too soon I might come back and say something coherent later on when it s all settled down a bitI Ambition and Accommodation: How Women View Gender Relations guess the only thing I need to add right at this moment is that I really felt like Proustave me this particular combination of the things I need most I really can t read anything too difficult or serious and to anyone who s considering iving Proust a try I can t emphasize this enough forget what you heard this book is anything but a ponderous drag It s silly and hilarious and smart and bizarre and there s tons of fashion and sex and depravit. La ualità di Proust scriveva Virginia Woolf è l'unione dell'estrema sensibilità con l'estrema tenacia E resistente come il filo per suture ed evanescente come la polvere d'oro di una farfalla Su uesta sensibilità e su uesta tenacia e su molto altro ancora è costruito il fascino della Recherche colossale romanzo mondo l'unico che l'autore abbia dato alle stampe frutto di uindici anni di tormentata estazione Usciti.
Marcel Proust Â 9 CHARACTERSS strange shadowy life The young narrator lying in his bed awaiting sleep while struggling with separation anxiety from his mother watched the projected fairytale images of the magic lantern liding across his walls furniture doorknob The reference to Plato s Cave is unmistakable and yet the wisdom to be found here lies not in peering through to the substantial origin of these shadowy fairytale forms that float over the surface of our awareness The umbilical chord to such cosmic orders is severed for Proust as for so many moderns We are left floating in a sea of images that strange in between realm where mind approaches nature but never uite rests in a secure rasp of it The best lucidity we can hope for comes from an acceptance of the free floating uality of the magic lantern of our minds it touches reality only when as the projected fairytale images the form is distorted as it Ancestral Voices: Religion and Nationalism in Ireland glides over an obtruding object such as the doorknob The entire rest of the narrative is like arand cartography of the magic lantern of the mind and of the unshakable unsettling yet poignant sense of In another LIST book 184 it was said that unless you have the opportunity to be in jail or have to hide out for a long time you can t read the whole of In Search of Lost Time Volume 1 Swann s Way Volume 2 Within a Budding Grove Volume 3 The Guermantes Way Volume 4 Cities of the Plain Volume 5 The Captive Volume 6 The Fugitive Volume 7 Time Regained Why did Proust have to write a 4000 page novel especially when there is not any discernable coherent plot Was it reall In reality every reader is while he is reading the reader of his own self The writer s work is merely a kind of optical instrument which he offers the reader to enable him to discern what without this book he would perhaps never have perceived in himself I struggled with Proust on and off for three years I read these books sitting standing lying down in cars and on trains waiting in airports on commutes to work relaxing on vacation Some of it I read in New York some in Madrid Lisbon Vienna By now this book functions as my own madeleine with different passages triggering memories from widely scattered places and periods in my lifeI am surprised I reached the end Every time I put down a volume I was sure I would never pick up another each installment only promised of the same and I had already had than enough but then the nagging sense of the incomplete overcame my aversion and with mixed feeling I would pick up the next one and repeat the experienceThroughout this long voyage my response to Proust has been consistent I should say consistently inconsistent alternately admiration and frustration There are times when I fall completely under Proust s spell and times when I find his writing intolerable Probably this mixture has much to do with what Harold Bloom called the anxiety of influence since almost as soon as I finished the first volume I started working on a novel a novel which very clearly bears the traces of Proust s influence It may be that with Proust I have something of an Oedipal complex and I need to lodge criticism at his work in order to clear the air for my own though I don t know What I do know is that my reactions to this book have proven tempestuous and I have yet to spur myself to write a fair reviewWhen approaching a novel of this size and complexity it is difficult to know where to start Can In Search of Lost Time even be called a novel In a writing class my instructor told us that any story needs to have a protagonist an objective a series of obstacles a strategy for overcoming these obstacles a seuence of failures and successes all of it culminating in a Animal Ecology grand climax that leads directly to a resolution If you look carefully you can indeed make out the bare outline of this dramatic pattern in Proust s work But like the slender skeleton of a peacock buried under a mountain of feathers this outline serves as a vague scaffold over which are draped colorful ornament and it is the ornament that attracts our attentionIn most novels anyiven passage will serve some dramatic purpose characterization description plot However there are times when the author will pull back from the story to make a eneral comment on society humanity or the world These comments are very often pungent and aphoristic the most uotable section of the whole book since they do not depend on their context Some authors like Dickens very infreuently make these sorts of remarks others like George Elliot are full of them Will not a tiny speck very close
To Our Vision Blot Outour vision blot out lory of the world and leave only a margin by which we see the blot I know of no speck so troublesome as self Elliot s masterpiece Middlemarch is distinguished for being simultaneously didactic and dramatic eual parts analysis and art Proust John for Everyone: Part One, Chapters 1-10 goes even further in the direction of analysis totally overwhelming every other aspect of the book with his ceaseless commentary No event however insignificant happens without being dissected the Narrator lets no observationo unobserved even at the cost of being redundant This endless exegesis circling the same themes with relentless exactitude is what swells this book to its famously vast proportions Tolstoy no laconic writer used less than half the length to tell a story that spanned years and encompassed whole nations The story Proust tells could have be IN AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSEMarcel eats the madeleine Marcel Oh that really reminds me of somethingMarcel s friend Oh yes WhatMarcel I can t uite put my finger on iterhmmm No it s Anarchist Modernism: Art, Politics, and the First American Avant-Garde goneMarcel s friend Oh well It probably wasn t that important The first volume of In Search of Lost Time ISoLT or Remembrance of Things Past RoTP or la recherche du temps perdu Merde m re un autre was first published in France 100 years ago this month I started reading in February and now end this beast in November Apparently I needed a little wind up to start and if the last 12 hours is any indication I will need a wee bit of time to settle down from the mess Proust has left in my headThis is a book that feels like a hypnotic river that both transports nourishes warms and transcends 4211 pages later and I feel like this is a novel I want to read again both immediately and much much later I had barely put down Time Regained and I was like an orobus reaching for Swann s Way I moing to chew on my BIG review of ISoLT for awhile I don t know if I m ready to try to explain or even understand the whole of Proust yet Hell I m not sure I m ready to look at myself that closely yetReading Proust was a bit like reading Finnegans Wake Certainly not the details or style mind you Proust wasn t deliberately sending his prose into language fractals neologisms and hillie suits of his own idioglossia Proust isn t trying to capture or interpret the night or dreams although dreams and sleep do play a part of ISoLT Proust isn t trying to hide he is seeking to uncover Both works however are best approached as literature that shouldn t be sipped These are pieces that you need to let wash over you You will miss parts for sure but unless you are a Joyce or Proust scholar you won t uncover 110 of what they are really sending your direction anyway Let the prose roll Let the messages seep into your conciousness Beware of
*the designs of *designs of left brained temptor to stop every sentenece and try to comprehend completely what was written Finnegans wake is too obscure and ISoLT is too damn long to do this Pull your feet up push your head back and float damn you alla uick after note the first four books of Proust I read were the Viking Translations done by Lydia Davis Bk 1 James Grieve Bk 2 Mark Treharne Bks 3 4 The last three Bks 5 7 were the Modern Library s Enright Scott Moncrieff translations I read the whole damn thing for which I feel like demanding a medal A famous uote about this work oes I may be thicker skinned than most but I just can t understand why anyone should take thirty pages to describe how he tosses about in bed because he can t et to sleep I clutched my headI heartily agree Nor do I like dinner parties that take longer to read about than they took to occur The main problem with Proust and his admirers is that they are convinced that the French aristocracy with all their trivial concerns and all their trivial conversations were actually interesting In reality they were very dull and conventional people One of Proust s friends actually said that to him but Proust was too status struck to listenThe only character in the books I liked was Charles Morel because he screwed everyone over and treated them like dirt By the time I finished I thought they deserved hi. Berte e Albertine fino a Odette e Swann Bloch Françoise il barone di Charlus e la duchessa di Guermantes Attorno al tema della memoria involontaria le cosiddette intermittenze del cuore della celeberrima scena della madeleine vive tutta la società francese dei decenni a cavallo del Novecento uelli della vita di Proust dalla sconfitta di Sedan agli anni delle avanguardie passando per l'affaire Dreyfus e la Grande Guer. ,
Y and satire and insane plot twists that don t make any sense I personally have a very short attention span and I cannot and do not read anything that isn t vastly entertaining In Search of Lost Time is VASTLY ENTERTAINING Except for The Captive which is only somewhat entertaining This is not to say that it s for everyone and I can see how lots of people would totally hate this HOWEVER it s definitely worth a shot because this book could change your life I mean that It could I m a completely different person now than I was when I started So what if this means I m now an obsessively jealous elitist antisemitic agoraphobic pervert who speaks exclusively in run on sentences I think I m better for it and you might be too Celebrity Death Match Special In Search of Lost Time versus Harry PotterThe francophone world was stunned by today s release of papers sealed by Proust for 100 years after publication of the initial volume of his famous series which finally reveal his original draft manuscripts In the rest of this review you can find out what Proust s books looked like before his well meaning but unworldly editor decided that French literateurs would prefer something slightly differentview spoiler1 Marcel Proust and the Magic CookieTraumatised by years of living in the cupboard under the stairs and never etting a Berlioz and His Century: An Introduction to the Age of Romanticism goodnight kiss from Aunt Petunia Marcel can t remember a thing about his childhood One day he eats a magic cookie and it all comes back to him2 Marcel Proust and the Change of PlanMarcel is briefly involved with Hermione but decides after a heavy petting sessionoes wrong that it s not such a ood idea after all He spends a nice summer holiday at the seaside where he meets Ginny or possibly someone else3 Marcel Proust and the Dodgy DuchessRita Skeeter has turned up at Hogwarts pretending to be a member of the French nobility A star struck Marcel falls for it and starts stalking her everywhere In the end he sees through her ruse and realises that she s just a hack journalist4 Marcel Proust and the Cottaging BaronMarcel is astonished to discover Lucius Malfoy and Hagrid The rest of this paragraph has been withdrawn following legal advice5 Marcel Proust and the Abusive RelationshipMarcel and Ginny are not etting on very well Marcel keeps cross examining her about what she s doing when she claims to be attending meetings of Dumbledore s Army and accuses her of having a lesbian affair with Cho Chang When Ginny denies it he rants at her in page long uppercase sentences6 Marcel Proust and the Deceased GirlfriendGinny is killed in a freak broomstick accident when she falls off her Nimbus 3000 Marcel is very sad for a while but then returns to interrogating Cho about what was really oing on7 Marcel Proust and the Commercial SuccessAlthough Voldemort s forces are poised to strike Marcel s thoughts are elsewhere He s always wanted to be a bestselling novelist but can t think how to et started As the Death Eaters storm Hogwarts he suddenly understands that he just needs to write down all the things that have happened to him changing names and a few details and he will sell a zillion copies plus movie rights hide spoiler We do not receive wisdom we must discover it for ourselves after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can make for us which no one can spare us for our wisdom is the point of view from which we come at last to regard the world The lives that you admire the attitudes that seem noble to you have not been shaped by a paterfamilias or a schoolmaster they have sprung from very different beginnings having been influenced by evil or commonplace that prevailed round them They represent a struggle and a victory Proust is a reat teacher This may sound embarrassingly platitudinous and yet I find that it is a fact altogether too easily overlooked in our incessant praise or bemoaning of his technical achievements as a stylistic innovator Setting aside for a while the whole issue of innovative narrative techniue which is nonetheless essential to the realization of his thought through literary art we can appreciate that he has something important to teach us about what it means to be wise or in short a fully realized human being He does so by bodying forth through narrative a model I d even say a paradigm of the process of self knowledge In so doing he becomes an indispensable companion to our own most personal and intimate developmental struggle to compass the manifold disjointed flux of experience into a coherent meaningful whole that we can point to as our self As psychologists now recognize a series of narrative acts or acts of meaning as Jerome "BRUNER PUT IT WEAVE TOGETHER ONE "put it weave together one one the fabric of our identity What we are fundamentally is a narrative identity a carefully demarcated world of meaning to which we cling in the face of the flux notice Proust s recurring focus of description thresholds and borders doorways and windows walls and fences The slow construction of this most fundamental narrative unity that constitutes the real round of our most mundane awareness is Proust s chosen theme This fundamental understanding of the self making self is paradoxically the culmination of the pursuit of self knowledge And in this Proust puts his finger on the very pulse of what identity means and can mean in our historical epoch As Charles Taylor points out in Sources of the Self the fundamental understanding of an ineradicable and refractory to the theoretical understanding and its search for pure transparency poietic element that lies at the heart of all our acts of knowing is foundational for modern thought in Edge of Venomverse general In short we make the self we strive to know necessarily Deliberations about meanings to entertain and construct form the veryround we stand on in our attempts to reflect and to know Self In this Proust s narrative art implicitly critiues the foundational move of Western philosophy and intellectual history alike namely Plato s separation between narrative and knowledge theoria and poiesis art and philosophy Proust seems to say that theoria is poietic and poiesis is theoretical and reminds us the primal etymological sense of narrative no to know In this he elevates the modern novel to the status of a privileged epistemic instrument and redefines the aim of wisdom The artist stakes out for himself his own wisdom path distinct from that of the philosopher The knowing to be sought is the kind of knowing we live by His narrative re enacts those acts of knowing by which we structure a life story and come to affirm a self and then later transcend itThe mainstream of modern thought has of course led in the opposite direction Reductionist mechanism aspires to corner the mind into some ultimate system a self made cage of thought a Theory of Everything from which it may never again emerge to see the light of day Any access to immediate experience must be mediated by said totalizing System any experience that does not fit therein is to be explained away While we managed to keep at bay political totalitarianism as a civilization intellectual totalitarianism still rules the day as an ever appetizing lodestar If we could but persuade ourselves to stay in the box we made we might buy ourselves some "semblance of certainty provided we forget we ourselves have fabricated it William " of certainty provided we forget we ourselves have fabricated it William in The Illusion of Techniue
Outlines This Totalizing Aspect Ofthis totalizing aspect of thought well when he shows how time and again the reat thinkers of modernity are subject to the irresistible temptation to reify the objects of their symbolism thereby becoming victims of their own language Proust s approach to the whole uestion of how we may become wise differs from this mainstream in two ways first he avoids becoming a victim of his symbolism by adopting a meta stance vis a vis his own cognitive framings and second he validates the adeuacy to experience of his methodology by continually touching base with where we actually stand in our most intimate dealings with the world through a close description of detail I already touched on the first but essentially the critical decision here lies in his not assuming transparency and instead foregrounding and scrutinizing the constructive process of knowing a life as it unfolds There is wisdom in this for by pretending that our mental filters are transparent to reality we risk mistaking the specks of dirt on our windowpane for features in the landscape The fundamental working metaphor Proust operates with here is the magic lantern of the mind This is introduced early on in the context of one of those childhood revelations that seems to suddenly make clear for us the sense of thi. A partire dal 1913 i sette libri che compongono in un tutto unitario la Recherche esplorano una moltitudine di temi il senso del tempo la memoria il sogno l'abitudine il desiderio E poi ancora la elosia il rapporto tra arte e realtà l'interagire di rituali ed emozioni Memorabili i personaggi che il lettore incontra tra ueste pagine dal Narratore figura dai fortissimi tratti autobiografici alle donne da lui amate Gil. .