Friday, December 31, 2004

So, after prompts from such sources as Walter Benjamin, I've started reading Proust's In Search of Lost Time (queue thunderclap). And it's scaring the pants off me. Largely because - even after ten or fifteen pages - I keep finding myself moving in unreachable directions through tissues and plains of memory and reminiscence. The present moment feels less and less 'now' - less like something that is currently happening to me. Yet just as imbued with - discontent, I suppose. Above all, I feel that I won't be able to read any literature - or watch any movie, but literature is more potent as you put yourself through it - without becoming dreamy and possessed by the sense that these feelings aren't 'mine', that all this is just some continuum of sense and image without any sort of 'me' that it could belong to... I am more of an empty point, perhaps.

Anyway, it seems as though I'm really going to have to brace myself if I want to (eventually) put myself through all six volumes of this.

And I don't know if I can trust music to buoy me up - well, not for long anyway, though Belinda Carlisle's "Summer Rain" is presently doing it for me. But in three minutes, mark my words, things will be different... (Fade to the euphoric soundtrack of nostalgia.)


Blogger Adam Kotsko said...

Some critic -- I think it was Lewis Menand -- once said that he was saving the complete In Search of Lost Time for a trans-Atlantic voyage by sea. I've read the first volume, and I can verify that it makes everything seem very different to be reading Proust. Every work of literature has its own internal time, but Proust is the one author I've read whom you simply cannot rush, almost physically cannot.

10:56 am  

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