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Proust may be the wrong selection here. I mean, has anyone *read* Proust? I don't mean Cliff Notes or Spark Notes or the Reader's Disgest condensation, I mean the whole encyclopedia?

We've all started reading Proust. Many have gotten pretty far in but I don't know anyone who slogged thru it


Piffle (which just happens to be the slogan emblazoned on the t-shirt I'm wearing right now). I haven't read Proust because I've heard it's a turgid mess and I don't want to read anything so described.

I have, however, just finished The Doomsday Book, which is as much a thought-provoker as anything one of those books Harold Bloom likes purports to be.


Why read Proust when there are so many good summaries available?

calling all toasters

I've read Proust but I've never read Turgenev. What should my political persuasion be?

P.S. I am a Gemini, if that helps.


One of my best friends is a retired Proust scholar from UC Santa Barbara, but I felt quite happy when I met him as a precocious reader at age 18 and got to say, "I read through "Remembrance of Things Past" halfway through, until "Cities of the Plain" and then I had to finally stop because the main character is a neurotic, depressed, self-hating gay man who isn't even a gay character in the book. He's longing after Albertine, who doesn't make any sense except as Albert." My scholar friend was not amused because I wasn't getting the context/joke, but we've stayed friends over the decades anyway.

There's only a few people whose reading tastes intimidate me, and that includes an old friend, Jerry Morgan, who reads Balzac for pleasure, and tackled both "Absalom, Absalom" and "Ulysses" in middle age with extreme pleasure.

Sean Paul Kelley

I haven't read Proust, does that make me a bad liberal? Or worse?



Generally when I tell someone what I read last week, it's because I got something valuable out of it and I think they would too. If we're presuming that I think I'm all that with butter sauce, it's actually kind of a compliment.


Life is entirely too short to worry with Proust, even if Shelby Foote thought it was worthwhile. But only a Bad Liberal would refer to Foote in the first place. I confess.

Chris the cop

1) DaveMB - terriic line. Wish I'd thought of it.

2) Lance, I've always been inspired by your shameless
literary name-dropping (and I mean that as a compliment) because goddam it, it's your blog, and if you can't drop names there, where can you?

3) Not that it's always about the police, but isn't the Wambaugh book 'Echos in the Darkness' named after a line from Proust?


The important question is whether Proust read Turgenev.

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