Friday, August 04, 2006

About a month ago Stephanie decided she was going to read In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust and asked if anyone wanted to join her. The response was enthusiastic and she decided to set up a group blog, Involuntary Memory, for readers to interact with each other while working their way through the seven volumes of Proust's novel. I had bought the first volume, Swann's Way a while ago on a classics buying spree and decided to join in the fun.

So most of what I have to say about Proust will be over at Involuntary Memory, but I will say that I enjoyed Swann's Way immensely. It was so engrossing and almost overwhelmingly beautiful. Just as an example, here's a description of Chopin's music: "When she was young she had learned to caress the phrases of Chopin with their sinuous and excessively long necks, so free, so flexible, so tactile, which begin by seeking out and exploring a place for themselves far outside and away from the direction in which they started, far beyond the point which one might have expected them to reach, and which frolic in this fantasy distance only to come back more deliberately - with a more premeditated return, with more precision, as though upon a crystal glass that resonates until you cry out - to strike you in the heart." Have you ever read a more sensual description of a piece of music? It makes me want to dust off the piano in the garage and play for hours. (Not a euphemism.)

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