Web Cowgirl 衛 思 維 (webcowgirl) wrote,
Web Cowgirl 衛 思 維

Approaching the home stretch: Time Regained

I had this bizarre insight on Monday that Time Regained is kind of like Proust's version of the Phantom Menace. You kind of know how it's all going to end (ooh, is he going to become a writer?) and (so far) everything seems really anticlimactic. All of his best moments have already happened and he's already said his goodbyes (in The Fugitive, the last book he actually wrote). It's very much, "Well, I suppose we have to get through this bit in order for the "real" story to happen" - only PM was a total piece of poo and this isn't THAT bad. It's just ... not as good as what preceded it.

I have also seen the height of Proust's writing powers already, in the increasingly better-written novels that were done after Time Regained was written (I think these are three books, the ones all about Albertine - it's a bit of a shock to go back to mid-career Proust after reading the end of career stuff), and, to me, the actual climax of the series was in the last book, when the narrator goes to Venice, the thing that's been his dream since early, early in the book, when his health and nervous temperament kept him from travelling. So now, he's back in Paris, and, to me, nothing seems the same. Everyone's older, time has marched on ... and while I've enjoyed listening to Proust go on about writing and the value of art (and the value of life to art), I just feel like I'm spending a really long time watching someone slowly expire on a stage while finishing their death arie. At any rate, I'm at page 234 of Finding Time Again, and I've got 124 pages left. My goal is to finish the book in October, meaning it will have taken me two years to have finished it (post on buying it here, post on starting it here). That seems reasonable enough to me, though I really had no idea what I was getting into when I started.
Tags: prisoner and the fugitive, proust, reading, time regained
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