Monday, July 10, 2006

Happy Birthday!

It's Proust's birthday today. I found it out quite by accident but it made me very happy for some reason.

I began reading the Lydia Davis Swann's Way in bed on Saturday evening. Even though I read it before, it didn't quite strike me as being so beautiful the first time around. But Saturday night and again on Sunday, I found myself reading sentences over and over for no other reason than they were so exquisite.

And as far as notetaking, I am trying out a system of marking passages and of "indexing" at the top of each page what the major themes on the page are like "Mama refuses to kiss Marcel," and "Grandma's theory of weather and health." Hard to say at this point if the indexing will help since I am only on page 37 and everything is still fresh. I know the Modern Library editions have a "synopsis" at the back of the book, but looking at their headings they do not jog my memory like my top-of-page notes do--and this is all about memory in more way than one!

I plan on celebrating Proust's birthday by reading Proust. What better homage could there be?


Blogger sfp said...

I was going to wait until tomorrow to start Swann's Way, but if today's Proust's birthday I guess I need to rethink my strategy!

12:27 PM  
Blogger Dorothy W. said...

I like your annotation system! I imagine it will be quite useful. I also envy the Proust re-reading. I'm about 20 pages in, and already I'm thinking, I will want to re-read this one day. I don't feel I can do it justice the first time around -- for now, I'm just orienting myself to what he's doing, not fully appreciating it.

12:41 PM  
Blogger Adam said...

I will read Proust today as well. It seems fitting that it's his birthday and this project is taking off at the same time. Fate?

I'm on page 95 of Swann's Way, and the book is filled with plenty of writing and silly notes that I made at 2AM in the morning:

"He loses time and pieces of his life while reading books. But at the same time he experiences more and lives more through the books he's reading."

That's a whole little post-it note. I'm enjoying this experience.

3:14 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Happy Birthday, Marcel!

I must say that, in the case of my reading of Proust, the fourth time is a charm. I am finally "getting" it!

I definitely believe that reading it with a group is helping!

4:00 PM  

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