Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Marcel Proust - In Search of Lost Time

"There's no way he'd make a decent TV listings writer. I soon got into the habit of reading the first three words of a sentence, and then judging whether to pursue the rest of it. It worked quite well as a technique in terms of getting me through the book."

"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 listen.

The only character in the books I liked was Charles Morel"

"such unnecessary language..."

"A lot of peeps be saying that Proust and not Joyce is the best writer ever (or of the 20th century, which is the same thing really) but judging from this first volume Proust is merely the culmination of the literary styles before him while Joyce moves beyond those and off into other realms entirely. Joyce is also a more proletariat, less romantic writer."

"Proust may have ushered in a Modernist era of psychological literature, may have provided a model of inspiration for Virginia Woolf to turn into stream-of-consciousness prose, and may have made inroads towards turning out generations of homosexual authors, and yet it's impossible to forget that he was a landed gentleman who could afford to shut himself up in his house and write uninterrupted for hour after hour, day after day, year after year."

"I really now know that the style of Marcel Proust is not the one I like. And I tried. This is the second book I tried to read. And still no interesting reading. I must admit that I do not like at all Proust. His twisted phrases, plain books, descriptive scenes of french high class society from the begining of 20th centuryy does not fit me."

"I just can't devour this man."

"Friends! We write in hopes of being read, and common sense ought to tell us that SOLID BLOCKS OF UNBROKEN TEXT will more often than not go unread because they are just too hard on the eyes and almost as difficult to read as words would be if they too were strung together without breaks.

Quite apart from any consideration of M. Proust, has it never occurred to his reviewers that phalanx-like SOLID BLOCKS OF UNBROKEN TEXT are too formidable in aspect and, rather than attracting potential readers, will instead serve to repel them?"


"I decided to undertake the cycle for two reasons: 1) because it's widely considered to be the greatest modern novel of all time ... 2) to discover the meaning of life. After reading over 4,300 pages, I would say I accomplished both goals."

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