Manny’s review of À la recherche du temps perdu > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Manny (new)

Manny Koeeoaddi wrote: "That was prodigious, Manny. Is it okay if my eyes go take a nap now, though?"

Oh, thank you! I was concerned that I was making it too easy, and not giving people even a suggestion of the real Proust experience...



message 2: by Dottie (new)

Dottie Wonderful!


message 3: by Manny (new)

Manny I began to realize after a while that it was impossible. But, as one does, I thought that I might as well carry on, just to see where I ended up!



message 4: by Worthless (new)

Worthless Bum A Proust review consisting of a single Proustian sentence? I like it!


message 5: by Bram (new)

Bram This is my favorite review ever.


message 6: by John (new)

John Manny, I've got to add my applause, too.


message 7: by Manny (last edited May 26, 2009 12:48PM) (new)

Manny Merci beaucoup! Comme dirent les americains, j'♥ Proust...



message 8: by Tom (new)

Tom Thank you, Manny. When/if I finish reading your review, I will pay a visit to the dusty boxes in my basement, a la recherche de memories that you've re-kindled of my first contact with Proust. Five-star review.


message 9: by Robert (new)

Robert Am I correct in thinking that Proust spent bazillions of words saying "smells can trigger strong memories", an assertion now backed by much research?


message 10: by Manny (new)

Manny Robert wrote: "Am I correct in thinking that Proust spent bazillions of words saying "smells can trigger strong memories", an assertion now backed by much research?"

A common urban legend! There is indeed an important episode near the beginning of Vol 1, but most of the book is about other things. See e.g. my reviews of Vol 2 and Vol 3...


message 11: by Robert (new)

Robert Aha - this "legend" which is more of a myth, really, has escaped at least as far as the suburbs these days - thankfully I don't live in the urbs. ;-)

Seems like he's more eliptical than a modern cypher.


message 12: by Manny (new)

Manny Proust invented a new way to tell a story. A lot of people have imitated him since. Anthony Powell is a particularly clear example. Nabokov was a huge Proust fan. I would argue that David Foster Wallace, in Infinite Jest, borrowed many of his stylistic tricks, though I don't know whether that would be as widely accepted...


message 13: by Robert (new)

Robert Hmmm...but I find Nabakov a right pretentious wotsit in his later short stories...that kinda suggests I shouldn't try Proust.


message 14: by Manny (new)

Manny Nabokov is only pretending to be pretentious!


message 15: by Robert (new)

Robert He's very convincing!


message 16: by Bram (last edited May 26, 2009 01:48PM) (new)

Bram Just don't read his comments about Dostoevsky. I was just starting on a Fyodor kick when I started flipping through "Lectures on Russian Literature". Ouch. I'm just so easily manipulated.

Re: Proust v. Nabokov. I've only read Lolita and half of A la Recherche, but they seem quite dissimilar in style based on that small amount of reading. I can definitely see the DFW-Proust connection though. Maybe that's why I'm digging IJ so much.


message 17: by Manny (new)

Manny I think Nabokov just likes to flick in a reference to Proust every now and then. I recall that there are several explicit ones in Ada and Pale Fire, at least...


message 18: by Bill (new)

Bill Great review...I've been meaning to read Proust forever, I have a 6 volume hardcover set...really must get to it soon!


message 19: by Calico (new)

Calico Neat.


message 20: by Manny (new)

Manny Thank you! You may also want to check out my review of Killer Crabs.


message 21: by Scribble (new)

Scribble Orca Thank goodreads I had only to wade through the several waves of words you've thoughtfully provided for edification instead of ploughing through Proust himself.


message 22: by Manny (new)

Manny G N wrote: "Thank goodreads I had only to wade through the several waves of words you've thoughtfully provided for edification instead of ploughing through Proust himself."

Oh. It's actually supposed to make you want to read him. I have clearly not got it quite right yet...


message 23: by notgettingenough (last edited Mar 18, 2011 06:49PM) (new)

notgettingenough Manny wrote: "Nabokov is only pretending to be pretentious!"

That is so funny.

When it is put to him.

Nabokov: Prétentieux? Moi?


notgettingenough Bill wrote: "Great review...I've been meaning to read Proust forever, I have a 6 volume hardcover set...really must get to it soon!"

Ha. That's what they all say. Personally, I am broken of the heart that my mother sold our set of that Proust sentence before I could start reading it.

No no. Wait. Just let me finish the page. No? The sentence. Just the sentence.

Oh, OKAY. Take the damn thing.


message 25: by Marcus (new)

Marcus lovely review thanks; am 28% through ISOLT and am hypnotised


message 26: by Manny (new)

Manny Thank you Marcus!


message 27: by Abhi (new)

Abhi Varma Manny, now I must read this book! Thank you!


message 28: by Manny (new)

Manny If I have convinced you, I'd happily have spent ten times as long working on it!


message 29: by David (new)

David Cerruti Worthless wrote: “A Proust review consisting of a single Proustian sentence? I like it!”

Manny wrote: “is still not quite finished...”

Nor is your sentence finished, unless the ellipsis at the end counts as a stop. The never-ending sentence is an infinite quest. While longer sentences (by Barthelme, for example) tend to have a bitter flavor, yours is delicious. The textbook Mathematical linguistics, written by András Kornaiin, suggests that in "journalistic prose the median sentence length is above 15 words." So, at 305 words, yours is well above average.

All levity aside, your review is inspiring. I’ll need some inspiration if I’m going to read it. Fortunately, I saw the review just in time. À la recherche du temps perdu is the current selection by the Book of the Decade Club.


message 30: by Manny (new)

Manny Thank you David! The ellipsis at the end is indeed meant to suggest that the sentence is unfinished.

If the review persuades you to read Proust, I will be very happy!


message 31: by Cecily (new)

Cecily An exquisite and clever review, which is great to read at this length, but I failed to enjoy a whole book of it. I wanted to enjoy the leisurely beauty of Proust, but couldn't manage it.


message 32: by Manny (new)

Manny Thank you Cecily! I can't always appreciate Proust either, but sometimes I'm in the right part of whatever cycle is involved...


message 33: by Audrey (new)

Audrey I've not read Proust, but I just love how your wrote your review all in one sentence. My favorite was the part about "unpacking layers of subordinate clauses to discover, nestling inside their crisp folds, a simile as unexpected and delicious as a Swiss chocolate rabbit." Lovely, delicious writing that is certainly worth savoring. Thank you!


message 34: by Manny (new)

Manny Thank you Audrey! And those rabbits have just gone on sale again... I saw a window display only yesterday.


message 35: by Margo (new)

Margo Smart Merci!


message 36: by Manny (new)

Manny Je vous en prie!


message 37: by James (new)

James Is Proust a good read ? I've twice tried Le Grand Meaulnes, and it was like wading through sludge. I gave up, both times.


message 38: by Kate (new)

Kate It's a terrific well-written review! Can compare it with Proust actually


message 39: by Manny (new)

Manny A futile attempt at an imitation, but thank you!


message 40: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa As a lifelong practitioner and proponent of conciseness in communication and the written word, reading Proust sounds like it might be a special kind of hell.

...Call me a masochist, your review convinced me to delve in anyway haha


message 41: by Manny (new)

Manny Vanessa, you've got the right attitude!


message 42: by Manny (last edited Aug 23, 2016 09:37PM) (new)

Manny Many people (including me) have tried to figure out how the trick works, but I don't think it can really be done...


message 43: by Nico (last edited Aug 24, 2016 01:40AM) (new)

Nico Lee Manny wrote: "Robert wrote: "Am I correct in thinking that Proust spent bazillions of words saying "smells can trigger strong memories", an assertion now backed by much research?"

A common urban legend! There i..."
I was wondering why this review was written in the style of Hemingway... and then I realised goodreads must have the kind of word limit that Marcel would vehemently dissaprove of. Seriously though, that was spot on, you really caught Proust's voice, and that is some trick to pull off. As for the madeleine? It is always a turning point in a young man's life, the moment redolent of the scent of gardenia, cheap cologne and the bathwater of a guest presenter on the Late Review, when you realise that a lot of people in public life who are regarded as the font of all wisdom, when discussing Proust, only ever mention that morsel. It's then that you begin to speculate just how far they've probably read into the work itself, and start to wonder about how first hand their knowledge is of a number of books... To end, I echo the chap above, a true five star review.


message 44: by Manny (new)

Manny Thank you Nico! Since you clearly have read it, you may be amused by this rather less serious review...


message 45: by Nico (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:58AM) (new)

Nico Lee I'm lost with the Potter references as I am old enough to not have read it as a child and immature enough not to ever want kids... However I would be interested in commissioning a colouring book version of 'Marcel Proust and the Cottaging Baron' for my godson. Might as well mark him with the curse of intellectualism, his parents named him Ziggy so he's pretty much going to be a pariah at school anyways. The origins of his nomenclature, as they're not big Bowie fans, is as mysterious as perceiving a novel about the Faubourg St Germain, salon life, how far someone can stay in the closet, memory and the nature of existance as being about, well, just a cake. Still though, cake. I love a good cake. Just thinking about it. Mmmm... That reminds me...


message 46: by Manny (new)

Manny It's amazing how few people have read both Proust and Potter!

I think Marcel Proust and the Cottaging Baron Colouring Book is a killer concept. It's entirely possible that Heuet is already planning to write it, but looking at this page it seems he probably isn't going to get there until about 2030. Maybe a nice letter from your godson will speed things up though?


message 47: by John (new)

John Bosma Fabulous review. My main regret is I cannot hear Neville Jason read it. I thought I'd read Proust's great novel until I spent 175 or so hours listening to the late Neville Jason, the British actor who recorded the only unabridged audiobook of this work, read it to me. My only regret about your review is Neville is no longer with us to read it. I can only imagine, but Neville always had a little surprise for me, something I hadn't quite noticed.

Thanks, Manny.


message 48: by Manny (new)

Manny That is very kind of you, John! And thank you for telling me about the Neville Jason audiobook, which I'm ashamed to say I'd not even heard of. I will look out for it.


message 49: by Aiden (last edited Aug 24, 2017 06:53PM) (new)

Aiden Heavilin You read Manny's reviews, and you're like, "Well, he's funny, but is that all?"

Then you read his review of in search of lost time, and he's just like, "Oh, yeah, I can also write liquid lightning prose. Whatever."


message 50: by Manny (new)

Manny Aw, thank you Aiden. Proust's terribly inspiring...


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