A Year of Proust
Blogland is a little like Narnia: once you stray away from it all, you have no sense of how much time has passed when you return. Though three months is hardly my longest hiatus, it’s still a long time to have been away from books. And in this time, I’ve been mulling over things and concocted up this crazy idea that I’d like to tackle Proust this year. It’s crazy, because honestly speaking, I have less and less patience for books which require concentration. It’s not so much that I resent the effort, but I simply don’t have time to devote hours and hours to reading anymore, and I know I’ll get stuck somewhere along the way. I’ll probably put it down, get back to it a few weeks later, then lose interest and not pick it up again. As I did with Middlemarch. And with Portrait of a Lady. Speaking of that particular Henry James novel, I’ve stuck it onto my February reading list too. Seems I’m a stickler for torturing myself.
Inspired by the film Julie & Julia, I want to try get through one book every two months – which may not seem very ambitious at all, only that as we all know very well, Remembrance of Things Past (a title more reflective of its nature than Time Regained) is a dreamy, hazy, meandering sort of thing. And judging with my past experiences with stream-of-consciousness writing, narratives that are dreamy and hazy and meandering actually require more effort. You’ve got to catch the wave, and then ride with it, keeping with the rhythm, and once you lose that rhythm, you’re just lost. Lost. Not lost in the pleasant sense of the word either. Lost, as in you’re swimming against the current and trying so hard not to drown that you can’t make any sense of what’s going on around you. Anyway, no point fretting about that now. It’s too late to regret anything, because I’ve just ordered my copy of the first volume, Swann’s Way - in the Moncrieff translation published by Vintage Classics. Wish me luck! :)