Monday, September 04, 2006

Proust on Procrastination

I have now read about 150 pages of In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower (James Grieve translation) and I am entranced. We hear about an older Swann and a slightly older Marcel -the latter who has now gained admittance to the Swann household. Here he has met and impressed Bergotte and resolved to write.

Given Marcel's already admitted laziness it is not too surprising that on page 155 we have a marvelous description of the process of procrastination.

If I had not been so determined to set to work, I might have made an effort to start at once. But given that my resolve was unbreakable, given that within twenty-four hours, inside the empty frame of tomorrow where everything fitted so perfectly because it was not today, my best intentions would easily take material shape, it was really preferable not to think of beginning things on an evening when I was not quite ready - and of course the following days were to be no better suited to beginning things. However, I was a reasonable person. When one had waited for years, it would be childish not to tolerate a delay of a couple of days..........
Unfortunately, tomorrow turned out not to be that broad,bright,outward-looking day that I had feverishly looked forward to.

Haven't we all been there!!

4 Comments:

Blogger Dorothy W. said...

Glad you are enjoying the second volume -- I'll be there in about a week or so.

7:22 AM  
Blogger Stefanie said...

Wonderful! I can hardly wait to get there. I am so behind but plan on catching up over the course of this week.

7:41 AM  
Blogger sfp said...

I'm about a week away from starting this one as well--two books I need to get through first--but I'm looking forward to it a great deal. :)

9:47 AM  
Blogger Quillhill said...

"inside the empty frame of tomorrow where everything fitted so perfectly because it was not today"
Spectacular! There is a whole universe in that phrase.

10:27 AM  

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