For the next year I plan to read Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. (Phyllis Rose’s The Year of Reading Proust isn’t enough.) I’ve read the first two volumes of In Search twice, and then I start over again, since narrative isn’t a big part of it.
I’d like to read it with a group. Starting with Swann’s Way again, of course.
I decided to check for a group at Goodreads.
First, I couldn’t sign in. I thought I was signed in for life.
“Sorry, we didn’t recognize that email/password combination,” it told me.
Well, even I didn’t quite recognize that password.
“Do you want to sign in with Facebook or Twitter?” it asks.
No, I do not.
I have a Twitter account (@MsMirabileDictu), but I don’t tweet. It is, however, great for “cyber-stalking”: NYRB, Gary Shteyngart, Mollie Katzen, my blogger friends, TLS, Ron Charles at the Washington Post, Maud Newton, and who is Andrew Holleran? I follow him, too.
By the way, leave me your Twitter address, and I’ll follow you. Perhaps I’ll tweet someday. I have sent four tweets, three by accident.
Anyway I finally signed in at Goodreads with a compromise password. The Proust groups are moribund.
Same thing at LibraryThing. They have no Proust groups.
Jess was reading Proust with an incentive. She was reading him not competitively but companionably, in concert with an old schoolfriend from Broghborough with whom she had kept in touch. They met rarely, for her friend Vivien lived in Edinburgh, where she was the assistant curator of a gallery, but they had preserved their intimacy through Viven’s occasional London visits and through sending one another postcards and letters….. (The reading group had not yet become a nationwide phenomenon.) Jess and Vivien had already read their way through Ulysses, encouraging one another onwards by exchanging comments and moments of bewilderment and enlightenment, and now they were doing Proust. Would they reach the end? They were not sure. it wouldn’t matter if they didn’t; nobody was watching them, nobody was marking them, there were no exams to sit, no teachers to impress.
Doesn’t this make you want to read Proust?
I need a Proust pen pal.
Seriously, I love Drabble’s heroines. In her novel, The Seven Sisters, Candida, the narrator, studies Virgil with an adult ed teacher. I thought, I’m a Latinist: why not teach an adult ed class? And so I taught an adult ed Latin class for two years. Then we ran out of people.
Here is a rather sweet, if blurry, picture of me teaching Latin in the ’90s, in schoolmarm clothes (important for discipline) and big glasses. Sorry, I don’t have any pictures of my adult ed days.
So who’s going to read Proust with me? Come on! One person.
No one wants to?????!!!!!?????Maybe someone who reads French?