Sunday, November 18, 2007

Proust is dead

Long live Proust.

"You really should read my stuff. It's quite good."

"No time for blogging, Dr. Graves!"
Unfortunately, I have a plethora of non-internets activity today - believe me, I'm well aware that I'm engaging in blasphemy - so, hey, don't everyone post too much. I have bad eyesight. Be good, kids!


Betty C. said...

No comment. I hope that makes things easier for you.

Mary Ellen said...

Gee, that's too bad Randal. I was doing a post on porn- pictures included. You snooze-you lose.

La Belette Rouge said...

There are so many great dysthymic Proust quotes that are a lovely match for your snarky ennui:
"Often it is just lack of imagination that keeps a man from suffering very much." Another favorite, "Everything great that we know has come from neurotics… never will the world be aware of how much it owes to them, nor above all what they have suffered in order to bestow their gifts on it." This was a man who got the power of ennui, depression and the black dog.
Have "fun" doing your non-internets activities. I will have a madeleine in honour of your Proust post.

FranIAm said...

Oh I am so hopeless behind in blog reading and commenting due to all those damn non-internet activities.

Seriously- these have been and will continue to be the worst two weeks of my blog life.

And Proust- you are a rascal Randal Graves and I love that about you.

Chris Hedges' loves Proust -that makes me want to revisit this and now this from you.

Freida Bee said...

What are these "non-internets activities" of which you speak? Never heard of them.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

It's Swann's Way or the highway.

Tom Harper said...

OK, OK, I'll check out this Proust dude, whoever he is. Does he have a blog or a MySpace page?

Randal Graves said...

betty c, your kindness is much appreciated!

Mary Ellen, lo and behold, this porn post magically disappeared. Gee, how odd! If I didn't know better, I'd say you were being devious towards me. So, as penance, anything good that you found, just email it to me.

LBR, merci mon amie. My biggest problem with Proust is no matter where I open up a volume, I'll find a sentence or two (well, usually just one since they take up an entire page!) that I wish I had written.

Fran, I only play a rascal on the internets. I actually work for the gov - oops, I've said too much. Go read Proust! After you read everyone's blogs, that is.

Freida Bee, of course you haven't. We purposely avoid remembering such banality. What did we do yesterday? What's a yesterday?

Dr. Monkey, that was fucking terrible. I salute you!

Tom, he did, but he violated the terms of agreement, so they suspended his account. Um, try Facebook, perhaps?

DCup said...

Proust was the bane of my existence circa 1987. Time to dust off that copy of his work and get crackin' I see..

My Inner French Girl said...

Reminds me that I've never actually read Proust and must do so pronto.

Bonjour, Randal! Ya, I opened my feedreader this morning with some dread...but I think I've caught up with everyone. This week will be very busy for everyone, so I'm sure you're not alone. Have fun with the kiddies today!


b said...

I have Swann's Way sitting on my bookshelf and have been wanting to read it and about 30 other books I have bought, given my inability to step foot in a bookstore without buying three books minimum. Looking forward to it though. Right now I'm reading Nietzsche and it is perfect for the mood/perspective I'm absorbed in.

Randal Graves said...

dcup, that's right, because there will be a test after the holiday!

MIFG, un grand gasp ! lisez ! lisez ! And I hear you. I hate having a bad connection at home that is slow as hell when it's not booting me off. Getting behind in blog reading is a dangerous prospect. :)

b, Don't you hate that? None of us are ever going to read all that we wish. And one can't even make a list of such things because the tastes and mood change so quickly.
Nietzsche, huh? So you're in a good mood. :)

My Inner French Girl said...

Why all this Proust all of a sudden? I read three other articles the other day that referenced him. Is the man's birthday coming up or something?

I have about 42 books on my library card at the moment (I work there one day a week, which allows me staff privileges, including longer checkouts and a 99-book limit and no overdue fines -- worth more than the actual paycheck!) and haven't a prayer of actually getting through them all. But ah, I can dream, can't I?


Randal Graves said...

Well, the 18th was the anniversary of his death, hence the title of my post. And it's always time for Proust!

J'adore la bibliothèque ! Les gens ? Er, moins. :)

My Inner French Girl said...


Bonjour, and hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

Have you heard of the book Proust Was A Neuroscientist? Heard a review of it a few weeks ago on NPR and added it to my very long reading list. The premise of the book is that artists and writers often "discover" natural phenomena before scientists eventually confirm it. The example used in the radio review was Escoffier's discovery of the "umami" flavor, around the same time that a Japanese chemist discovers it himself. Of course, it wasn't until a century or so later that the scientific community officially acknowledged that there is, indeed, a 5th taste.

I guess the point is that the mission of artists -- as of scientists -- is to pursue truth. However, oftentimes, in their obsessive quest to describe the truth, they may actually stumble on something before science does. Only when the scientific establishment actually conducts their experiments and confirm the results, however, does the world learn of these remarkable discoveries.


Randal Graves said...

Great, another book to read. But it's on Proust, so I'll move up the list!

But you're right. For artists, it's more of our intuitive interaction with the world around us and with each other. The scientists want to figure out the nuts and bolts of such actions. We just want to write about how it makes us feel. :)

My Inner French Girl said...

Bonjour, Randal!

Well, I think Proust has a chapter or so devoted to him in this book, but it also includes Virginia Woolf and Auguste Escoffier, among other artists. So you can just read the relevant chapter and be done with it! ;-)