More specifically concerning: proust
But memory’s sudden release of the genie held captive inside matter, like a spirit bottled by an evil witch, is much more often for me both generator and principle of a happy feverish fugue than the quietism of a Proustian illumination. Resparked, the precious images kept so long in darkness – all of them – […]
The important thing for the remembering author is not what he experienced, but the weaving of his memory, the Penelope work of recollection. Or should one call it, rather, a Penelope work of forgetting? […] And is not his work of spontaneous recollection, in which remembrance is the woof and forgetting the warp, a counterpart […]
A few notes on Swann’s Way:1 ‘Combray’ is high-modernist fancy, a lush novella of remembered childhood within the the clear framework of our narrator trying to fall asleep. Interesting in not being tied to a particular bout of insomnia – though still tightly bound with insomnia at Combray as a child. How is this going […]
Within a Budding Grove
Racine isn’t telling a story about love among the sea-urchins (185). Again, this does not aspire to the level of essay, and will be simply some notes from reading this particular volume. Within a Budding Grove is a more thoroughly conventional novel than Swann’s Way, and presents the late childhood and early adolescence of our […]
The Guermantes Way
Everything we think of as great has come to us from neurotics. It is they and they alone who found religions and create great works of art. The world will never realise how much it owes them, and that they have suffered in order to bestow their gifts on it. We enjoy fine music, beautiful […]
Sodom and Gomorrah
Probably the most titillating volume, but certainly one of the most dull. One imagines the narrator as a carbuncular, crepuscular teenager, creeping at the edges of the shadows and undercurrents of desire, without actually entering into the depths he peers in. This is rendered more obnoxious when we are told that the fawning ladies at […]
weak tea and memory
From Asterios Polyp, in a passage on memory.
Crambe repetita (17)
Marcel Proust, The Captive.
I was almost exactly halfway through Céleste Albaret’s recollections of Monsieur Proust when I realized I had erred in the matter of genre. I had supposed it was merely a servant’s memoir of her eccentric employer. Given the pains she takes to clarify her stances on her employer (not crazy, not malingering, not a bit […]