"The one thing more difficult than following a regimen is not imposing it on others." - Marcel Proust.
October 29, 2009 11:39 PM Subscribe
posted by infinite intimation (22 comments total)
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People have studied many things relating to, and regarding Marcel Proust; what they may never have told you is... Proust is funny!! (just not "Lucky Jim" funny.)
Professor of French, Catherine LeGouis at Mount Holyoke also reads Proust, and sees the humour
: Then last year, while on sabbatical in Moscow, having already decided to teach this course, I reread the whole Recherche again, this time using the annotated four-volume Pléiade edition; this worked out really well. I never left my apartment without one of these smaller volumes in my bag, reading on the subway, or standing in lines, or waiting for people. This time I made it through the whole thing in six months, and I got far more out of it, not only because of all the scholarly notes, but also because I discovered Proust's amazing sense of humor, which shows up in almost every sentence.
For Proust there may be no need for the concept of zero... from the infinitesimal instant; he defines his sense of œcology
along the scale of the infinite. This stretching, compressing, and ultimate return of times, people and senses long gone
is not his copyright... just his trademark. Or is it?
Time and sense: proust and the experience of literature
THE SCENT OF A NEW WORLD NOVEL: TRANSLATING THE OLFACTORY LANGUAGE OF FAULKNER AND GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ
despite this and other critical attention paid to the role of memory in the author’s preoccupations with the influence of the past and its dead on the present, few to none have commented on how either writer attends to the connection between smell and memory, and, in particular, of how olfactory memories, impervious to time, might haunt the present, setting the stage for the appearance of ghosts and eidolons who inhabit vivid reinstatements of the past. A careful examination of olfactory language and situations in Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! and in García Márquez’s Leaf Storm, will establish how for both authors, smells, like disembodied souls themselves, call forth ghosts and eidolons. Both authors use Proustian moments of recollection to depict memory not as a controlled, conscious return to what one might review or reconsider, but as a chance visitation of the past, an olfactory haunting of the past through and in the body. Like Proust, Faulkner and García Márquez align history and memory with the body on a strictly personal (read: physical) level; consequently, memory is not limited to the bounds of nostalgia.
(full text is free, at bottom of page, but is pdf.)
When the beloved Gabo
is mentioned alongside Proust however... then things heat up! United States President Clinton is an example of a great thinker who knows to listen when Mr. Marques shares his thoughts.
Carlos Fuentes and I have good reason for considering that evening as a whole chapter in our memoirs. From the beginning, we were disarmed by the interest, respect and humor with which he listened to us, treating our words as if they were gold dust.
-Gabriel Garcia Marques on President Clinton.
(previously; Proust is a Neuroscientist
, Mr. Marques and Enron