Friday, July 10, 2015

Joyeux anniversaire, M. Proust

He was born on this day in 1871.

In reading, friendship is suddenly brought back to its original purity. There is no false amiability with books. If we spend the evening with these friends, it is because we genuinely want to. We often take leave of them, at least, only with regret. And once we have left them, none of those thoughts that spoil friendship: ‘What did they think of us?’ ‘Were we not tactless?’ ‘Did they like us?’ or the fear of being forgotten in favour of someone else. All these qualms of friendship expire on the threshold of the pure and peaceable form of it that is reading.

Marcel Proust, “Days of Reading,” in Days of Reading, translated by John Sturrock (London: Penguin, 2008).
Related reading
All OCA Proust posts (Pinboard)

[Days of Reading, from the third series of Penguin’s Great Ideas paperbacks, reprints five short pieces from Against Saint-Beuve and Other Essays (London: Penguin, 1988), now out of print.]

comments: 0