Thursday, September 21, 2006

SW, Chapter 8: The End... OR IS IT?

I did it.

Four hundred and forty-four pages. Three and a half months. Approximately 70 billion metaphors. But I killed that bottle: Swann's Way is a fait accompli.

The last passage of the book, a few pages spent strolling through the autumn Bois du Boulogne, sums up everything about Proust that is wonderful--love of nature, descriptive detail, gentle pensiveness, the knitting together of seemingly disparate plot points--and also everything about him that is awful--endless sentences, logistical lapses, willful nostalgia, and, hey, imagery is not narrative, motherfucker, so howsabout coming to a goddamn point?

I feel like I climbed Mt. Everest, but the truth is, I really just made it to Base Camp. There are six more novels to go, each about the same length (if not longer), and some of them notoriously more dense than Swann's Way. So, the question becomes: Do I keep climbing?

The truth is, SW wasn't that tough to get through--I could have finished it in two months, if I hadn't put it down for a while. There's a part of me that would really like to keep going, because, well: Like Everest, it's there, and I do love a challenge. Plus, I think the part of me that's always been self-conscious about the fact that I have very little formal English education wants proof that I can do this: You know, if I can do something most PhD's haven't managed, then I'll finally stop being self-conscious about the fact that I haven't taken an English class since ninth grade. On the other hand: That's a whole lotta Proust.

If I do decide to keep going, I am definitely going to start up an official "Shut Up, Proust!" blog.


Blogger Emptyman said...

(a) Glad you liked Cafe Papa.

(b) SHUT UP! I'm reading Swann's Way right now myself. The man has some long sentences.

6:57 AM  
Blogger shutupproust said...

(a) Tripe! Who knew?

(b) Haha! I'm about to start Young Girls. Yooouu can't catch meeee! (And dude, look at what I do for a living. Do you have any concept how painful that is for me? I keep wanting to grab the red pen on my bedside table and go to town on that shit. Which probably says more about my own flaws than Proust's.)

7:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go to someone's blogger profile, and on the left hand side under the photo you will see -- if they have it activated -- "email." Which is email.

12:06 PM  

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