“Remembrance of things past
is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were.”
― Marcel Proust
Proust is a well known French writer, renowned for his… difficult style. You’ll Google it if you want to try, OK?
Thus, in France (and probably elsewhere) you often hear this “I tried Proust, but I couldn’t finish it”, with a little funny face.
Well, OK, I never finished it either! Reading Proust is like eating a feast everyday. It’s exhausting!
- Worse : you can not really read something else, because every writer looks like a dumb moron after Proust. Too much intelligence pulls you in an awe, where air is rare.
- Worse : you want to grab anyone you know to scream “Read Proust, it’s amazing!”. No, come on, it’s impossible to read him.
- Worse : Proust’s style, made of long, complex phrases, with an absolute lack of concessions (for the reader), is like dive into it, or else…
Therefore : you have to make an effort. Each time you plunge in Proust you have to. You’re like “OMG it’s dense!”, then you find the marvels. A bit like opera, you see? If you don’t make an effort, an opera is a boring story with people singing like crazy about stupid dramas. Make an effort to find your own pleasure : voices, performance, music, comparing, etc…
Once you did it, here it is : Proust is a blogger.
One day I explained it to my best friend. She was like “Meh”. OK, I said. I picked up the book, read a page (randomly), and we found an idea. So good it filled the evening in conversations.
The only secret is this : do not take it too solemnly. It’s not a cathedral. La Recherche (“In Search of the Lost Time”) is just a huge great book. If you’re bored, breathe and pass a page. YES. Go on. You’ll find emerald & pearls. It’ll kill you (it’s soo good). One day, it’s enough. Read something else.
In each page you’ll find one or more ideas. Each one could let you thinking smiling watching the sky, like “Ohh, that’s true!”.
He’s a blogger. But he’s better than you, I warn you…
Have a nice day!
“Every reader, as he reads, is actually the reader of himself. The writer’s work is only a kind of optical instrument he provides the reader so he can discern what he might never have seen in himself without this book. The reader’s recognition in himself of what the book says is the proof of the book’s truth.”
― Marcel Proust, Time Regained
“Now there is one thing I can tell you: you will enjoy certain pleasures you would not fathom now. When you still had your mother you often thought of the days when you would have her no longer. Now you will often think of days past when you had her. When you are used to this horrible thing that they will forever be cast into the past, then you will gently feel her revive, returning to take her place, her entire place, beside you. At the present time, this is not yet possible. Let yourself be inert, wait till the incomprehensible power … that has broken you restores you a little, I say a little, for henceforth you will always keep something broken about you. Tell yourself this, too, for it is a kind of pleasure to know that you will never love less, that you will never be consoled, that you will constantly remember more and more.”
― Marcel Proust