My fifth week of Proust

by mudrhetoric

My most momentous week of Proust.

The work isn’t bogging down as much. There’s much more of a flow to the work, but it still stifles at times due to his verbosity and strange sentence construction (which I’m now convinced are Proust’s doing and not the translators’).

You’d think the seemingly puerile sentimentality of the main character would grate on you, but he doesn’t. You come to admire his acute eyes and fits of neurotic affection.

Now that I’m moving to the end of the second book, I need to temper some of my original estimation. Is the work monumental? Obviously, and as a feat of will it should be vastly admired. Is it essential reading? No. I would only recommend this task to very few (and no they aren’t elect or elite).

I wouldn’t call the work tiresome, but it can definitely wear on you. The work will likely never feel done. You always sort of wonder what germ he started with. How did it come to be what it is? The analysis of genius?

I sometimes wonder if any work can be categorized as “essential.” I feel not, as each person lives within their own particular context and has to be met there.