Thursday 20 September 2012

The Sweet Cheat Gone / Albertine Disparue (2nd post)

 The Sweet Cheat Gone / Albertine Disparue (2nd post)

In this book Proust returns again and again to the idea of a sort of RAPTURE engendered in the mind. Even if only for a moment we can have experiences which are so rich that they seem of a different magnitude of experience to everyday life. And yet they can be inspired by the most commonplace objects and attached to the most quotidian experiences. This is because the real epiphanies happen inside our head and are the result of intellect, emotion and memory acting upon experience.

I was reminded at times of passages in Fernando Pessoa's The Book of Disquiet. Pessoa's narrator feels that the real journeys are internal -  "Only extreme feebleness of imagination can justify anyone needing to travel in order to feel." Proust's Marcel says something similar - "Let us leave pretty women to men devoid of imagination." Whatever we see is not transferred COMPLETE to our consciousness, it is interpreted and shaped by our consciousness.

Monday 10 September 2012

The Sweet Cheat Gone / Albertine Disparue (1st Post)

The Sweet Cheat Gone

This is the second last volume in Proust's masterpiece and it is difficult to discuss it without there being some spoilers, although I will try to keep these to a minimum. For although plot is not pre-eminent in this book, it is full of twists and turns.

Albertine has gone and Marcel alternately misses her and explains how he is forgetting her. He is still eaten with jealousy, both of what is happening in the present and what might have happened in the past. Before she left, Marcel imagined he had fallen out of love but her leaving turns the wheel once more and fills his heart with loss: "a moment ago, before Françoise came into the room, I had supposed that I was no longer in love with Albertine, I had supposed that I was leaving nothing out of account; a careful analyst, I had supposed that I knew the state of my own heart. But our intelligence, however great it may be, cannot perceive the elements that compose it and remain unsuspected so long as, from the volatile state in which they generally exist, a phenomenon capable of isolating them has not subjected them to the first stages of solidification. I had been mistaken in thinking that I could see clearly into my own heart."

Friday 7 September 2012

On Vapour Trailing, an update.

The Moon on the tide at Midnight. (holiday photo)
On Vapour Trailing, an update.

Things have been quiet around here as I was on holiday for a week and have found it difficult to get back into the swing of things since returning. The best weather in months is also pulling me away from th'internet.

However, I am working on a post on the second last volume of À la recherche du temps perdu and am into the last 100 pages of the final volume. Completion of my main target for the year is at hand, Hurrah!

One of my other targets for the year was to write a short story and to try to focus my mind I have signed up for a very exciting course with novelist Keith Ridgeway. I hope to have positive things to report from this over the next ten weeks. It includes directed reading as well as writing. http://someblindalleys.com/index.php/workshops/fiction-with-keith-ridgway/