Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Proust: Places in space and time

The last words of Swann's Way:

The places we have known do not belong solely to the world of space in which we situate them for our greater convenience. They were only a thin slice among contiguous impressions which formed our life at that time; the memory of a certain image is but regret for a certain moment; and houses, roads, avenues are as fleeting, alas, as the years.
From Swann's Way, translated by Lydia Davis (New York: Viking, 2002), 444

I wish I'd known Swann's Way when I was visiting old neighborhoods last summer.

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comments: 2

John Guzlowski said...

I don't think we need to know Proust before visiting old neighborhoods.

No matter if you're a dentist or a plumber or a grade school teacher with not enough time on her hands, you go there to that old neighborhood and you instantly and completely know what Proust is talking about.

Visiting the old neighborhood--It's like a grad course in Proust.

Michael Leddy said...

True, we don't need to know Proust to think these thoughts. But I wish I'd known Proust as a kindred spirit earlier on.