Friday, June 30, 2006


My normal reading habit is to settle into bed with my book at the end of the day. The normal result is that I read maybe two pages and then fall asleep. If I'm determined to read a long work, such as a 1,000-plus page novel, I have to devote other, more wakeful, times of the day to the effort.

Writers are commonly taught that one should never end a chapter with a character going to sleep. The thought is that if there is a break in the action that permits the character to sleep, then the reader will be prone to sleep as well. The goal of the writer should be to keep the reader reading, to write a book that is un-put-down-able.

Proust begins his masterpiece with his narrator going to sleep. In minute detail.

We managed six pages last night before quickly dosing off.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


If it took Proust fourteen years to write his masterpiece, how long will it take to read?

If you choose to accept this mission, take a deep breath.

My reading will be from the two-volume Random House 1934 edition, translated as Remembrance of Things Past by C.K. Scott Moncrieff. As English translations and page numbers vary among editions, I will try to make the position and context of any references clear, so others can follow if they choose.

Assisting me in my reading will be Alain de Botton, How Proust Can Change Your Life; Roger Shattuck, Proust's Binoculars; and Milton Hindus, A Reader's Guide to Marcel Proust.

Available online at the University of Adelaide Library are the French texts of the first four volumes, and the complete seven volumes of Moncrieff's English translation.


Hello and welcome everyone. In case you didn't know about it, Barnes and Noble has several of the books of the new translation in hardcover as bargain books!I was able to pick up a copy of the new translation of Swann's Way in the store as a bargain book but it does not appear to be available online. Everyone is welcome to read whichever translation he or she wants. I think it will be interesting to find out the differences in them.

You can begin posting Proust thoughts and links right away. Let's aim to begin discussion on section one of "Combray" in Swann's Way by July 15th. Depending on your translation, that comes out to 50-60 pages of reading. We'll keep the pace of 50-60 pages a week after that and make adjustments as needed.

If I have linked your name to your blog and you don't want the link, let me know. Likewise, if you have a blog and I didn't get your name linked to it let me know. Thanks and happy reading!