grashupfer (grashupfer) wrote,

Reading Proust is a singular experience. It's slow. I find myself pausing after some paragraphs to consider some point or description, trying to decide if I agree or can locate some experience of my own that justifies or contradicts the idea. Few writers do this to me. Very few. I think the slowness is what has over the years allowed me to get distracted by other writers. I'm enjoying it so much this time, I can't imagine putting it down.

I came this morning to the actress/moon passage that is triple underlined with exclamation points in my other copy of the first volume. Sometimes in the afternoon sky a white moon would creep up like a little cloud, furtive, without display, suggesting an actress who does not have to come on for a while, and so goes in front in her ordinary clothes to watch the rest of the company for a moment, but keeps in the background, not wishing to attract attention to herself. Amazing and so satisfyingly apt.

Also - I wanted to ask if others had, as a child, the narrator's experience: The name, which had for me become almost mythological, of Swann--when I talked with my family I would grow sick with longing to hear them utter it... I remember sitting with my grandparents at the table in their kitchen. They'd be sitting there in a cloud of cigarette smoke with my grandmother's sister and her husband, talking and gossiping about the extended family. I do now recall eagerly hoping for stories of my father's cousin Ricky who had been like our family's version of the first Kennedy son, the great hope who died young. He'd been shot in the head in Vietnam but survived it and come home. He lived for five years, I think, but never with the same vitality that had made him a great favorite. And now those four old people at that table are ghosts. My father is dead, too. Where could I now get a story about that mythological young god?
Tags: 1001 books, proust

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