Sunday, July 15, 2007

ISYGF, Chapter 11: That's what they make back burners for.

Yeah, I know, it's been a month since my last post. But honestly, I've got a lot going on right now. I'm dealing with a major life change (read: anyone need an editor/writer in Portland, Oregon?) that's consuming most of my free time, work is crazy busy right now, and my personal life has achieved a level of cheap drama that would make even a veteran watcher of the WB (or CW, or whatever they're calling it this year) roll their eyes in disbelief, the end result being that I'm having a hard time getting it up for self-obsessed dead French writers at the moment.

But I'm going to try to keep with it as much as I can, because, well, a project is a project. So I'm taking a few minutes out of packing to give Proust a little respect, because he made a pretty good funny. On page 110, the elder Swanns are bitching to Marcel about a woman they know named Mme. Blatin (which, I have to admit, is the perfect name for a character like this). They're showing Marcel the finer points of adulthood by telling him a totally humiliating story about this woman. "It's too stupid," says M. Swann. "You see, Mme. Blatin like to address people in a way that she thinks is friendly, but which gives the impression that she's talking down to them."

"What our friends across the Channel call patronizing," Odette interrupts.

Okay, that's what social satire should be. Worthy of Austen, that line is. I totally want to reference it with a friend now, be all, "Umm, yeah, I believe your tirade about Miranda July is what our friends across the Channel would call pretentious."

But that, of course, is the problem with reading Proust. Even if you find a joke you like in one of his books, you can't pull it out in casual conversation with anyone else, because no one else is moron enough to have wasted valuable CW-watching time reading the damn things. Guess it's time to pull out the sock puppet again. You'll find my joke très amusant, won't you, Socky?


Blogger Mr_Grant said...

That's why Marcel could never make it in Hollywood -- no ability to coin a catchphrase. No wonder the films based on his work have to come out of the European artfilm genre.

1:50 PM  
Blogger shutupproust said...

...and have tended to suck.

8:03 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home