A couple summers ago I decided to tackle one of those books that one always thinks of reading but never gets around to actually reading. It was a book that I thought I’d have to force myself to finish. That is what had happened with all previous attempts.The book was James Joyce’s “Ulysses”. I wasn’t blogging back then so I did not share the experience. I wish I had, because I ended up having an amazingly fun time with that book.
For the last 2 summers I’ve tried to recreate that experience with other books. In a nutshell, I failed. I just haven’t been able to find one of those classics that I really wanted to read. But, I did not give up and now I have begun an even bigger project than Ulysses. You see, in my quest for a “big read” I discovered something sort of cool.
On July 10th 1871, Marcel Proust was born. Eighty-Nine years later, on that same day, I was born. So Proust and I share a birthday! Now, if I didn’t think Proust was cool to begin with, I’d never try this. But, I like Proust. Because of that, and because I’ve never tried to read the 3000+ pages of “À la Recherche du Temps Perdu“, I have decided to read the seven volumes of this monumental work. To keep me motivated, I’ve decided that blog about it, too. If my plan works out, I’ll be reading a 1930s English translation, and blogging about everything from the difficulty or ease of the reading, to rememberanced from my own past.
I do have to admit that I’d like to read it in French. Sadly, my 40 year old high school and college French is so bad that, if I tried, this would be the “Proust PARALLAX Project” instead of “The Proust Parallels Project”. None of us want to see me make that much of a fool of myself. That said, because translation is an art that extends far beyond words into the realm of interpretation and structure, I will no doubt dig into the French edition where my admittedly-weak skills allow.
For now, I’ll hold off on any commentary about the books. I’m about 50 pages into “Swann’s Way” and I already have several posts brewing. Initially I’ll be cross posting these to both my main blog (almostrational.wordpress.com) and to a brand new blog (proustparallels.wordpress.com). The New Blog will just be a duplicate of the Proust posts, intended to catch some extra readers with a specific interest in Proust, so you don’t need to subscribe just to that. You can just stay subscribed to this blog and you’ll get to see all the posts.
Welcome to “The Proust Parallels Project“!