Tuesday, May 30, 2006

For the love of god, someone please stop me.

It's been staring at me for a month now, ever since I bought it on a whim at a used book store, daring me to pick it up. And so instead I read some London, and some Yates, and some Chabon, but now--yes, now, just in time for summertime reading fun--I think I'm gonna read me some Proust.

Pretentious cookies of memory, here I come.

Monday, May 29, 2006


I'm not exactly sure why or how it happened, but one day I decided to read Swann's Way, the notoriously dense and highly lauded first book of a seven-book novel by Marcel Proust. I think the impetus was equal parts curiosity and obstinacy, which has been a recipe for many of my bad ideas in the past. At any rate, I started in, and would occasionally post little tirades about the ordeal to my friends. When I finally finished the first book, I realized that A) Proust drove me nuts, but B) even so, I kind of wanted to read all seven books, but that C) I would never manage to do so if I didn't have my little public tirades to keep me going. So, with the encouragement of my friends (who love a good public spectacle as much as anyone), "Shut Up, Proust!" was born.

A few technical notes: I am using the new Penguin translations, as that's how I started and I've heard the older versions are even harder to navigate. I have absolutely no literary knowledge--I stopped taking English after ninth grade (thank you, Seattle Public School System!)--so this isn't exactly an academically rigorous site. But I don't see why literature should be reserved solely for those few folks who manage to collect a bunch of initials after their names. On another note, all entries from Swann's Way originally were written on another blog, and then copied here. In some cases, I've included comments from that previous blog, which is why they're going to show up as comments within comments from me. Don't worry, after Swann's Way, all that foolishness should stop, and a whole new kind can begin.