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View Diary: Bookflurries-Bookchat: It’s a Mystery to Me (128 comments)

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  •  Proust must have used a few spreadsheets. Would he (3+ / 0-)

    feel complimented if a reader used one, or would he think they were cheating? I know he had a healthy and hungry ego. I'd guess, tenuously, that he'd approve.

    I've only made it through Swann's Way, so far. I like your idea of reading Proust twice, but I'd probably wait a decade before attempting it again. I guess I'd better hop back into my first excursion.

    My favorite thing I've ever read on Proust is Crawling Up Everest, in which an intrepid reader hires Tenzing, "a Sherpa reader who is highly praised among his countrymen for his ability to read anything",  to help him scale the impenetrable heights.

    "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

    by Brecht on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 07:46:31 PM PDT

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    •  Now you've got me thinking... (5+ / 0-)

      Proust certainly liked attention, the more the better.  Although he was anchored in his past, he had a strong interest in new ideas (like the airplane) and perhaps Excel would have caught his fancy.  

      Your Russell Baker link really made me smile.  Yes, reading all of Proust is like scaling Everest, but when you get to the top, oh, what a view!  I consider my fairly recent completion of the whole 8 volumes to be one of my most happy accomplishments.   But I'm a quirky reader and I hit upon him at the right time in my life when I had sufficient experience to understand what looking back means and sufficient time to savor his gorgeous language.  Decades before I tried to read Proust and couldn't get past the first three pages.

      It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

      by Radiowalla on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 08:07:15 PM PDT

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      •  I ran aground two or three times in 'Swann's Way' (5+ / 0-)

        before Proust really got his hooks into my imagination. I mean, separate attempts over several years.

        His books are for hardcore readers. What first draws us into reading is what makes us turn the pages: Exciting plot with thrilling incidents. After reading more books, we grow interested in character development, the careful articulation of a particular world, and finally the color and play of the writing and the language itself.

        So Remembrance of Things Past, like Ulysses or Infinite Jest, scales marvelous new heights. But it takes years of reading to train yourself to see that far. I'm glad you stumbled back up that mountain at the right time.

        "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

        by Brecht on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 08:27:58 PM PDT

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