Friday, April 20, 2007

Proust Says Exactly What I Mean...

I'm about halfway through part one...and I thought I'd quickly stop in to post one of my (so far) favorite quotes. Do you know that delicious feeling of reading something and immediately recognizing it? That's how I felt when I read this, like he was saying something I've been trying to say for a long while...

"And in myself, too, many things have perished which I imagined would last for ever, and new ones have arisen, giving birth to new sorrows and new joys which in those days I could not have forseen, just as now the old are hard to understand."

This, to me, is a terrific description of that transition I went through when I got married and became a mother. As a teenager, I'm sure that we all went through our little dramas and felt like we were so grown up - we knew exactly what our lives were supposed to become...and then, as they say, life actually happened. Things that used to be so important and vital to my happiness faded in comparison to taking care of my boys and maintaining a solid relationship with my husband...at the same time, having the new responsibilities opened up a whole new world of worry and work (because even though everyone told me that marriage is hard work, I really didn't understand that, hey - marriage is hard work. That compromise stuff comes into play, like, almost every day! ). I suppose that's enough elaboration at the moment...I just really, really liked that sentence!

(I'm discovering that Proust makes me go into a reflective mode - he talks about his bedrooms and I'm mentally going through all of my own bedrooms...I've been thinking about those houses and towns that made an impression on my childhood memory...is anyone else finding this to be an effect of Combray?)

3 comments:

Luisa Perkins said...

A perfect post, Christie. Yes, Proust does encourage reflection of the sort you are describing! Many people have noted this effect.

BTW, it appears that the Overture is called 'Part One' in some versions, just so we're all clear.

Adriana Velez said...

Wow, I can't wait until I get past the introduction! Sigh...

Great post.

Kara said...

I completely agree with you, Christie. I love those rare occasions when an author nails something indescribable and makes it concrete. It is like being able to hold a rainbow in your hands for closer inspection. Proust seems to be able to do this on every page. The guy is a genius for detail and description. Reading this has made me pay closer attention to every day details--what does the mattress really feel like? The sunshine? The soil?