Proust: From The Guermantes Way – Chapter One

… our cruellest adversaries are not those who contradict and try to convince us, but those who magnify or invent reports which are liable to distress us, taking care not to give them any appearance of justification which might lessen our pain and perhaps give us some slight regard for an attitude which they make…

Proust: From Within A Budding Grove

How Proust augurs, perhaps with presentiment based on experience of the present, a modern Presidential figure who speaks no known language. I have kept my introductory sentence to no more than 140 characters. It is true that even within [the walls of the Grand Hotel at Balbec-Plage] there were people who did not pay very…

My Moment with Proust – From Swann’s Way IV

A sliver of Casablanca recently had come to Robson Street in Vancouver’s West End, where I live. In the guise of a small restaurant owned and manned by a polyglot Moroccan chef who had wound his way from Marrakech through Italy, Germany, Montréal, Edmonton, to Vancouver, and, en route, acquired Arabic, French, Spanish, Italian, German, and…

From Swann’s Way III

“The process which had begun in her—and in her a little earlier only in than it must come to all of us—was the great and general renunciation which old age makes in preparation for death, the chrysalis stage of life, which may be observed wherever life has been unduly prolonged; even in old lovers who…

From Swann’s Way II

Just as one thinks, in the section on Combray, that this time Proust has gone on too long in one of his unpredictable meanderings with unpredictable interpolations, one comes to this: “… but what fascinated me would be the asparagus, tinged with ultramarine and rosy pink which ran from their heads, finely stippled in mauve…

View of Illiers with the church of Saint-Jacques

From Swann’s Way I

Proust, describing the village church Saint-Hilaire at Combray: “there was a spot where the narrow road emerged suddenly on to an immense plain, closed at the horizon by strips of forest over which rose and stood alone the fine point of Saint-Hilaire’s steeple, but so sharpened and so pink that it seemed to be no…