Friday, December 29, 2006

Claire, you were absolutely right about Fun Home by Alison Bechdel and I wish you would have marched me into a bookstore months ago and made me buy it. I'm going to have to stop and get my own copy on the way home from work today because there are a bunch of holds on this one so I can't keep it to read again and again. Oh my gosh, how much did I love this book? The way she viewed her life and her father through Proust and Joyce and Fitzgerald was beautiful and, in fact, she might just have convinced me to read Ulysses next year.

This part, referencing Proust, I found very interesting: "After Dad died, an updated translation of Proust came out. Remembrance Of Things Past was re-titled In Search Of Lost Time. The new title is a more literal translation of A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu, but it still doesn't quite capture the full resonance of perdu. This means not just lost but ruined, undone, wasted, wrecked, and spoiled. What's lost in translation is the complexity of loss itself." This sheds new light on In Search Of Lost Time. My brain is already spinning, wondering if Proust means to say that his characters ultimately find they have wasted time pursuing the objects of their desire. Or is it something further on that he thinks is spoiled or ruined? Or if by examining the past, is it possible to regain that time? Or perhaps we are to reclaim it so it is no longer "lost" but instead vital to who we have become? Or are we all wasting our lives? What then do we do in order to make the most of it? What does Proust think we should do in order not to waste time? In Fun Home this section comes when Alison is ruminating on the cyclical nature of life and the parallels between her father and herself, seemingly saying that they both had wasted so much time denying their true natures. So is that what we must do in order to not feel our time is lost? Is it really as simple as "to thine own self be true"?

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