teaching, blogging and researching on art and culture, viewing the world through the camera's eyes, continually contemplating on the world of aesthetics and art theory and expressing it in art criticism and discourse…
Thing are just too hectic now. I feel this last leg of the semester’s course work. I have a ton to write about but barely any time to write them. Aside from my numerous and heavy academic writings and readings, I have something to relax and enjoy. Surprisingly, it’s Marcel Proust‘s Swann’s Way. It is the first part of a six-volume series. I initially started reading the free Kindle book, but I am very apprehensive about it. I still prefer reading books in print. Slowly though, I am starting to get used to it, as Kindle books are much cheaper and classics costs nothing at all. Some of my new references are books that I bought through Kindle, I don’t have to wait for the long delivery process. I am actually considering getting a Kindle or an iPad for this purpose.
Marcel Proust has a bad reputation of being brilliant but difficult. Personally, I don’t find him difficult to read, despite the really long sentences. The trick to reading Proust is to not rush. I am learning that I lot lately, first with Braid, now with Proust. Living the moment and experiencing it as it unfolds is the best part. The last part I read this morning is his description of the church in Combray. It is as if I can see it with my very own eyes. Also of his aunt and her Francoise. This is not a book to rush but it is something that will take you through a journey.
I wish I had a better copy, like a hard bound one. But there aren’t a lot of this. Fully Booked had only 3 copies left when I asked them to locate it for me. It was spread intro 3 mall branches in the south. Fortunately, they do branch transfers, this service helps me out a lot. I don’t like going to Bonifacio High Street, I just get the Trinoma Branch to do all the branch transfers for me. I even saved “Mark of Fully Booked Trinoma” for inquiries. Their prices might be a bit higher but their service is the best, they even reply to texts if I am looking for a specific book.
On the photo of the book, I can’t find the edition that I have. I will post it one of these days. I’m just overwhelmed with I have to read, write and even teach. This is one of the biggest challenges, ever. I will leave this post with the first paragraph of the first chapter, Combray.
For a long time I would go to bed early. Sometimes, the candle barely out, my eyes closed so quickly that I did not have time to tell myself: “I’m falling asleep.” And half an hour later the thought that it was time to look for sleep would awaken me; I would make as if to put away the book which I imagined was still in my hands, and to blow out the light; I had gone on thinking, while I was asleep, about what I had just been reading, but these thoughts had taken a rather peculiar turn; it seemed to me that I myself was the immediate subject of my book: a church, a quartet, the rivalry between Francois I and Charles V. This impression would persist for some moments before I awoke; it did not offend my reason, but lay like scales upon my eyes and prevented them from registering the fact that the candle was no longer burning. The it would begin to seem unintelligible, as thoughts of a previous existence must be after reincarnation; the subject of my book would separate itself from me, leaving me free to apply myself to it or not; and at the same time my sight would return and I would be astonished to find myself in a state of darkness, pleasant and restful enough for my eyes, but even more, perhaps, for my mind, to which it appeared incomprehensible, without a cause, something dark indeed.
I was relaxing and putting myself to sleep when I first read this passage. It was amazing. This book is not about the plot, it is about the experience of moments. In Search of Lost Past, previously translated as Remembrance of Things Past is a journey that all of us should take.