In Search of Lost Time, by Marcel Proust.

(Or as I remember it, in Carlisle library when I was a teenager, “Remembrance of Things Past).

“Swan’s Way” the first book…

I have been trying this audio book for 1 week, I am struggling with it. It reminds me of Flaubert “Madame Bovary” with its mundane talk, its stillness, lack of movement, detail to detail. My God, how he goes into detail, flowery, in-depth, precise analytical descriptions. And for all that it is brilliant, if you can bare all that then it takes you into another world, a secure world like he is describing of its time. His childhood, his adulthood, his family and servants, friends and environment is all minutely described and this paints pictures in one’s head, you can enter and live it, if you are also in that frame of mind.

And that’s the problem; in this day and age we are not always in that state of mind; as it paints a picture of a static society not a movable one, as is ours today. It is like a painting hanging in a gallery where we stop and look into it, it is not like a video where we stop and it moves and passes us by. You have to enter into it or it is a nothing. So sometimes I struggle with it as I am not in that static state of mind.

I looked into this book when I was a teenager but when I saw the many volumes on the shelves I did not bother with it, I am pleased I never tackled it then as I certainly would not have continued with it, but now I will keep going, it is not a book where I can linger though, but I do appreciate its prose and descriptions.


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