Thursday, August 29, 2019

“Apparition in Agathe’s head!”

Robert Musil, The Man Without Qualities. 1930–1943. Trans. Sophie Wilkins (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995).

The mere ten pages of Proust that Musil professed to have read must have included the madeleine moment of Swann’s Way. When Proust’s narrator recognizes the taste of madeleine dipped in lime-blossom tea, the world of his childhood appears before him; “all of Combray and its surroundings” emerges, “town and gardens alike,” from his cup. Musil offers a grimly comic version: Emma Bovary, this is your life!

Related reading
All OCA Musil posts (Pinboard)

[Rudolfsgymnasium: not a typo. Quotations from Swann’s Way from Lydia Davis’s translation (New York: Viking, 2002).]

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