Proust Defeated

Well I have finally finished Proust’s ‘In Search of Lost Time’, and what a satisfying feeling it is. Satisfying for all of you that have been following my progress too, no doubt. There should be no more posts saying, ‘Still reading Proust’. I do have a great sense of achievement having completed it, but I feel that to fully understand it I would need to read it a few more times at least, and as much as I enjoyed it, that is unlikely to happen. There were many sections of this work that resonated deeply with me. Many times I read a passage and thought, ‘That is exactly how I feel’, or ‘That is how I view things’. Proust’s ability to identify and describe the way people deal with certain emotions and feelings was exceptional, in my opinion. Not knowing the narrator’s age or social rank was a little disconcerting for me though.

I originally began to read this series after a friend mentioned that he had just started reading it, mainly because he felt that it was something that he should have read. I thought that I would also try reading it, in a mildly competitive manner. Whatever our reasons for starting to read a particular book though it has no real effect on our ability to enjoy it, although preconceptions can of course colour our views. Sometimes something that we have always wanted to read disappoints, whereas something we would never have ordinarily considered turns out to excite our imagination and provides great pleasure.

Now that I have finished Proust I can get back to the plays of Sophocles and ‘Twenty Three Tales’ by Tolstoy, both of which I started some time ago but began to neglect more and more the closer I got to finishing Proust. After that I am going to have a little break from so called high-brow literature I think. I will probably read a few detective novels. I have some James Patterson sitting on the shelf waiting for my attention. Time to look at them I think.