Friday, October 26, 2007

A Little Bit of Proust

Somehow I started to read Proust. The blame goes to Alain de Botton, a writer whose witticisms deconstruct modern thinking and make intellectualism seem but a trifle and a whim. He wrote a book in 1997 called "How Proust Can Change Your Life" which distills the enigmatic French novelist into a self-help dispenser of pithy ideas. How clever I found Mr. de Botton to be when I dipped my toe into the vagaries of Proust; I picked up volume one of "In Search of Lost Time" and instantly fell into the deep end. What author dares to run sentences onward into the stratosphere that sometimes seemingly mellows behind the stars of a bright night, but never so much as an introspective person that wretches for the meaning of a simple thought, sometimes stumbling, but always emerging strongly as that same night in starry sky, almost an homage back to Van Gogh, whose rich paintings greatly represented the mood of a generation - and generations often afford a few mis-steps in leaving a legacy as strong as the stars and stronger yet for the living.

I step back from the precipice, appreciating how far that little book of Mr. de Botton's went in dispelling the complexities of this almost-godly figure in the literary world. A little bit of Proust can leave one confused, or worse, interminably wrapped up in wandering thoughts and words.
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