Posts Tagged: proust
At The Millions, J.P. Smith describes the singular effect that Marcel Proust has had on his growth as a writer:
This isn’t a rambling, stream-of-consciousness book of memories lost and found; it’s a novel with a subtle and solid architecture, where in its last volume, Time Regained, the shape of the work comes finally into focus.
Do you love this shit? Are you high right now? Do you ever get nervous? Quizzes are everywhere these days, from meandering author interviews to hard-hitting investigations to exactly which Disney princess corresponds to your introverted spirit animal. Read about the now-ubiquitous model’s Proustian origins over at the New Yorker....more
Make sure no one else is awake. Turn off the lights. Your windows can stay open. Now turn on your phone and begin reading. Repeat as necessary each night. Do not stop until the very last word of the very last volume.
For The Millions, Hannah Gersen recalls past attempts to read Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, and explains why she came up short. The essay also serves as an announcement for a new series, in which Gersen will once again attempt to tackle Proust and write monthly posts about her impressions....more
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
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