One woman’s quest to read all of Proust
January 7, 2020 1:48 PM   Subscribe

— out loud, in French, in subway stations. Last December, Nathalie Vanderlinden, a San Francisco chef, read Proust's Du côté de chez Swann, aloud, in San Francisco BART stations, in two-hour stretches. Then she read it in one 19 hour effort, at a performance space in Brussels. Next up? À l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs in four parts, again in BART stations.
posted by niicholas (17 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Whatever gets you to read Proust.

What are you doing reading this? Go read Proust!
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:56 PM on January 7 [8 favorites]


But Genji first, presumably?

I’m sensing a conflict of interest here.
posted by mhoye at 1:58 PM on January 7 [3 favorites]


Only if you are going Chronologically.

Anyway, my hat is off to her.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:00 PM on January 7


To her credit, if you’re a la recherche du temps perdu the BART is a pretty good place to start looking for the scene of the crime.
posted by mhoye at 2:03 PM on January 7 [9 favorites]


Yes, but how quickly can she summarize Proust?
posted by SansPoint at 2:14 PM on January 7 [7 favorites]


I mean- considering the usual stuff I see at BART- this I’ll take *shudder*
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 2:21 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


I expected her name to be Madeleine.
posted by SPrintF at 2:30 PM on January 7


GenjiandProust: "What are you doing reading this? Go read Proust!"

Is there an accepted best English translation of the whole work? I thought this was tied up with some kind of copyright battle or something.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:39 PM on January 7


"Proust in his first book, wrote about, wrote about..."
posted by Windopaene at 2:59 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]


Is there an accepted best English translation of the whole work? I thought this was tied up with some kind

Montcrief is the standard English translation, but there are significant enough deviations that it is often considered kind of it's own thing. This is a good overview of the question.
posted by Think_Long at 3:35 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]


Considering reading Proust is akin to considering running a marathon. The experience of reading Proust is more akin to eating 50 gallons of ice cream.
posted by billjings at 4:11 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]


"I would ask myself what o'clock it could be; I could hear the whistling of trains, which, now nearer and now farther off, punctuating the distance like the note of a bird in a forest, shewed me in perspective the deserted countryside through which a traveller would be hurrying towards the nearest station: the path that he followed being fixed for ever in his memory by the general excitement due to being in a strange place, to doing unusual things, to the last words of conversation, to farewells exchanged beneath an unfamiliar lamp which echoed still in his ears amid the silence of the night; and to the delightful
prospect of being once again at home."

-Marcel Proust, Swann's Way: Remembrance Of Things Past, Volume One. Overture.
posted by clavdivs at 4:44 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]


The experience of reading Proust is more akin to eating 50 gallons of ice cream.

The experience of reading Proust is really more like eating 50 long leisurely banquets — Some of the dishes are delicious, some puzzling, some enticing, a few revolting… The novel contains the world.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:45 PM on January 7 [4 favorites]


If she can face The Captive/The Fugitive for a second (or more) time she’s a better woman than me. My recommendation would be to stop with the red shoes.
posted by praemunire at 5:34 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


I would gladly read Rabelais by the freeway for free NO2.
posted by clavdivs at 7:07 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]


You read Proust like you eat an elephant. One bite at a time.
posted by hwestiii at 7:24 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


praemunire, I’ve been stuck on The Captive for years now. Every once in a while I pick it up again with great determination, only to put it down a few pages later as an act of self-care. :(
posted by daisyk at 5:55 AM on January 14


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