I’m nearing the end of these posts from the past (I think). However many remain, though, I’m determined to end this week with real-time reading and blogging.
Within a Budding Grove, pp. 504-514
The only thing to report about these 10 pages is that Marcel has arrived at Balbec Plage, had a physical collapse, been rescued by his indulgent grandmother (“… be sure you knock on the wall if you want anything in the night”), and recovered enough to mingle with other guests at the hotel and comment on their behavior.
… the barrister and his friends could not exhaust their flow of sarcasm on the subject of a wealthy old lady of title, because she never moved anywhere without taking her whole household with her. Whenever the wives of the solicitor and the magistrate saw her in the dining-room at mealtimes they put up their glasses and gave her an insolent scrutiny, as minute and distrustful as if she had been some dish with a pretentious name but a suspicious appearance which, after the negative result of a systematic study, must be sent away with a lofty wave of the hand and a grimace of disgust.
On a related topic, I find it impossible to read one book at a time. No, I’m not like a two-fisted eater, with a book in each hand as my eyes alternate between the two. But I have a couple of books next to my couch, that I read in the afternoon or evening, and three more by my bed, that I read at night or when I wake up. When I get bored with one, I switch to another.
Bored with a book? As Spongebob would say, “Those words! I didn’t know you could use them together in one sentence!”
But, yes, bored. Every book has its slow moments, and Proust’s has what seems like more than its fair share. All this is to say that, although it may look as though I’m devoted to Marcel and carefully focused on the 10 to 20 pages I can read each week, it would be misrepresenting the truth. I’m actually a very fickle reader. If Proust were the only thing I was reading these days, I’d have finished the two volumes/seven novels long ago.
Busy, busy, busy.
Early 2011, my alternate reading consisted of Diana Wynne Jones, Cornelia Funke, Salman Rushdie, Sara Zarr, and I don’t even remember what else. These days, it’s a set of obscure books, which I’ll be happy to introduce you to, but not today.