Sunday, July 12, 2009

As if to console me ...


...for the departure of Lovely Sister this weekend, this arrived. (Finally; the first time Amazon UK sent it by another carrier and it was lost in the vasty wastes of unknown Europe; once this was established they sent out another, no fuss. I'm hoping the first one may yet arrive, and I can further pass on my good fortune, raffle it for a good cause or something.)


A very nice person sent me a very generous Amazon voucher in exchange for something, and this is what I put it towards, the proselytisers of Proust having got to me. One disc down, 38 to go. I shall have such well-ironed clothes...

17 comments:

Barrett Bonden said...

On y va, Lucy. Please leak a reaction every so often.

Zhoen said...

Funny, I ironed for the first time in months yesterday.

herhimnbryn said...

Like bb, I'd like to know what you think. It's one of those works I mean to 'attempt', but never get to it.

HLiza said...

Receiving wonderful surprises or just expected stuffs via mail is still something that excites me. Good for ya..they look good.

Dick said...

I have yet to be seduced by Proust. Maybe extreme ironing is the key. Off to Amazon..!

Granny J said...

Too many years ago to count, I found myself more or less confined to a room for a couple of weeks and undertook Proust. Read only one of the books, but once I had managed to enter it (took a while), I found it a fine read. As for being read to, a long ago partner read all of Tom Jones aloud to me as a bedtime story, one chapter per night. I recommend it!

Lucy said...

Thanks chaps, especially my gracious benefactor! They came very promptly and are very bright and appealing. Obviously it's quite heavily abridged, though the reviews praised the way this was done. ('Swann's Way' only is available unabridged but not from Naxos, but from a co called Whole Story)

Audio books really are a treat, and I'm surprised how easy it is with these just to listen to a little at a time rather than having to immerse myself in long stretches, perhaps because the prose is so jewelled and the action so slow moving! So I keep it in the CD player in the kitchen and whenever I've got something to do turn it on and enjoy a bit more. Sometimes I think I've missed something, and with CDs you obviously can't reread or just rewind a short way to go over it, but then I fear the need to keep doing that would mean I wouldn't make much headway with reading it off the page, so this really is a nice idiot's way into Proust!

A Write Blog said...

Looking at those you must feel as though you at the beginning of a very plasant journey.

How lovely.

apprentice said...

That would fill up an i-pod on its own. What a lovely treat. I hope they last until autumn.

Plutarch said...

You will I am sure enjoy the experience. Listening to it must throw a new and pleasing light on the book. I used to read it aloud to myself to help me to concentrate on the winding sentences.

Plutarch said...

Yes, please reflect from time time to time as you progress through the CDs. I'm just coming to the end of Time Regained for the third time, and find so much that I missed on previous occasions.

Barrett Bonden said...

... and I re-read it for the third time, earlier this year (albeit, in English, not like heroic Plutarch). I am truly interested in your first impressions after, say, about seven discs.

Dave King said...

Lucky, brave, much-consoled (I hope!) you! I shall expect some pretty fantastic blogs from this thou knows!

Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

Who reads it?

Lucy said...

Thanks again. I'm averaging a CD about every two days, so it won't actually last so very long. I feel I am getting something of a whistlestop tour, so it is rather whetting my appetite for reading the full work, but I think if I do I'll have been glad of the overview this has given me. Occasionally I feel the need to go back over a section.

Richard, it's read by Neville Jason, who, I'm ashamed to say, I knew nothing of, but who is, it seems, a theatre, TV and radio actor of longstanding and distinction, also a singer and evidently no mean Proustian. He did the abridgement himself as he went along, a project of about five years, and he wrote the biography of Proust which takes up three of the discs, and has also translated his poetry. His voice and diction seem to me very good for the job, as he comes across as very slightly prissy and old-fashioned! Though also very correct and sensitive...

I am thoroughly enjoying this project!

tristan said...

not so much a comment as a message

we are just trying to book 7 nights in chartres with M. Chedeville, having failed to obtain eurostar tickets on our preferred dates

so we hope to be in france from 5th September, departing on the 12th

I want to go to ?Illiers Colombay?, Proust's village

have you been there ?

Lucy said...

Tristan, that's wonderful that you might stay at the B&B!

I saw some promotional stuff there about Illiers-Combray, but didn't really take much notice, as we weren't especially bothered about driving out of the town while we were there.

Interestingly, though, I then finished reading Alain de Botton's book 'How Proust can change your life', which was one of the factors that persuaded me to launch out on Proust. He was quite wittily disparaging about the small Proust tourist industry in Illiers-Combray, apparently the only place in France that has officially changed its name in response to a ficititious portrayal of itself!

As well as remarking that the exhibition is a bit second rate anyway, with a rather unattractive plastic madeleine under a glass dome in Aunt Leonie's supposed room, and that it partly seems to be a marketing exercise on the part of a couple of local boulangers who compete as to which one supplies the 'real' Proust madeleines, that on a deeper level the promotion of the place misses the point, by saying that you need to see Illiers to fully understand and appreciate Proust. He asserts that it wouldn't have mattered where Proust spent his childhood holidays, it could just has well have been any other village, but how he used the raw material of memory in his writing, and that we should rather learn to see our own world and experience through Proustian eyes, than to try to see Proust's actual world through our own eyes.

He's right of course, but M de Botton is a bit of a smart-arse. I think it would really be rather interesting to see Illiers-Combray and that the kitschiness of it sounds quite fascinating, not least the plastic madeleine, so I'd say go for it, and have a madeleine for me!

I'll pop over to yours and leave an e-mail, in case there's a chance of a meet-up...