At the Guardian, novelist Julian Barnes shares his experiences developing a taste for art during his childhood, and how modernism worked to change his early impressions of what art could be. In addition, he offers insight as to how modernist art has come to influence his work, as well as the works of Flaubert and Proust....more
Posts Tagged: proust
For Flavorwire, Jonathon Sturgeon works to define “contemporary” literature and wonders where Karl Knausgaard’s My Struggle fits into the mix. What he ultimately argues is that contemporary literature is often “project based,” and that Knausgaard’s self-exploratory novel is the most definitive example of this kind of work in recent times:
Not only does the title My Struggle claim for Knausgaard the agency to define his own project, it also points to the audacity of its own belatedness.
In a culture where everything is assigned a market value, imagination isn’t in high demand. Over at The Millions, Chloe Benjamin wonders why some of imagination’s most vivid manifestations—dreams and fiction—fall so low on our priority list:
But in the absence of conclusive evidence, sleep’s utility—like that of fiction—is still in doubt.
“When writing a book once about the Dalai Lama, I was startled to realize that the very core of one of his lessons was expressed for me by none other than the pampered-sounding Frenchman, who notes, at the very beginning of his final volume, as if to put things in perspective, “For in this world of ours where everything withers, everything perishes, there is a thing that decays, that crumbles into dust even more completely, leaving behind still fewer traces of itself than beauty: namely, grief.”
Pico Iyer explains how Proust was an accidental Buddhist over at the New York Review of Books....more
“It feels like cheating,” Larissa Pham says in a Gawker essay titled “In My Shopping Cart,” “to write about culture by writing about food.”
But it reads like anything but cheating. Pham wheels us through the grocery aisles of her memory, pointing out the Vietnamese food her family made with American ingredients, childhood treats with forgotten names, and the unexpected privilege of growing up with first-generation American cuisine....more
Like Proust, David Mitchell examines how the incidents of a person’s life fit together, how the different parts of the world come to form one world....more
Writing and reading does me a lot of good because it acquaints me with death in totally vicarious ways. Which is good, because I love life more than I know what to do with.
Often in what I write, there’s lots of dying and disease and misfortune and sorrow....more
Roberto Bolaño’s überbook inspires a speed-read through literary history....more
Reading and Teaching Proust Was a Neuroscientist...more