The Year of Reading Proust discussion

Lectures on Art
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Preliminary Reading > Ruskin, Lectures on Art, Lecture 1 - 11/4

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message 1: by Martin (new)

Martin Gibbs | 105 comments I'll go ahead and start--though I have a lot of thoughts, I'll start with my first. In Ruskin:

I shall try to probe in you, and to prevent, the affectation into which it is easy to fall, even through modesty,—of either endeavouring to admire a grandeur with which we have no natural sympathy, or losing the pleasure we might take in the study of familiar things, by considering it a sign of refinement to look for what is of higher class, or rarer occurrence.


It is here where I think we can see the light bulb going on within Proust’s mind—how to capture the simplicity and grandeur of things that are familiar; how to elevate the experience of a cookie dipped in tea, perhaps, and the myriad of memories that go with it.


message 2: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
Martin wrote: "I'll go ahead and start--though I have a lot of thoughts, I'll start with my first. In Ruskin:

I shall try to probe in you, and to prevent, the affectation into which it is easy to fall, even thro..."


Great hightlight.

I am having some difficulty in associating Ruskin and Proust. I see Ruskin so very Victorian, with the weighty moral concerns, and Proust (my idea of it, since I have not read him yet) as so very French. And the same thing goes for the art. I associate Ruskin with Turner and the Preraphaelites. He was very critical of Whistler. While for me the latter, his portraits in particular, seems so very close to Proust (think of his portrait of the Comte de Montesquiou at the Frick).


Elizabeth (Alaska) I know neither Proust nor Art, so I suspect I'll learn a lot over the next 14 months. At this point, I'm curious to learn in what ways Ruskin influenced Proust. I can see the fuzzy periphery of a novel in just this introduction.

Para. 7 But if every painter of real power would do only what he knew to be worthy of himself, and refuse to be involved in the contention for undeserved or accidental success, there is indeed, whatever may have been thought or said to the contrary, true instinct enough in the public mind to follow such firm guidance.


message 4: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "I know neither Proust nor Art, so I suspect I'll learn a lot over the next 14 months. At this point, I'm curious to learn in what ways Ruskin influenced Proust. I can see the fuzzy periphery of a n..."

Yes, good paragraph. Elizabeth, are you planning to read the Carter bio?.. I looks like I am going to be the only one...!!!


Elizabeth (Alaska) Kalliope wrote: "Yes, good paragraph. Elizabeth, are you planning to read the Carter bio?.. I looks like I am going to be the only one...!!! "

I don't think I'm going to fit it in. Instead, I'll be reading his much shorter Proust in Love.


message 6: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "Kalliope wrote: "Yes, good paragraph. Elizabeth, are you planning to read the Carter bio?.. I looks like I am going to be the only one...!!! "

I don't think I'm going to fit it in. Instead, I'll b..."


That is fine.. We will be able to compare notes.


message 7: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
Proustitute wrote: "@Martin
That's a great quote, combining both Ruskin's and Proust's similar projects.

@Kalliope
I see Ruskin so very Victorian, with the weighty moral concerns, and Proust (my idea of it, since I h..."


Thank you Proustitute. This helps a lot.

I have just found this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkDTA6...


message 8: by Elizabeth (Alaska) (last edited Nov 04, 2012 02:36PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Elizabeth (Alaska) Thanks for that link Kalliope. I note that lecture is a 1/3 video. I haven't gotten to 2 and 3 yet (I will), but the first one is very helpful.


Elizabeth (Alaska) The lecture Kalliope linked is very good about giving insight into the influence of Ruskin on Proust. In it, Searls feels confident that Bergotte is based on Ruskin. Great motivation for further reading!


message 10: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
Jaye wrote: "Being also a newcommer to Proust and now having read through all your delightful comments I'm going to read here first and then read the Ruskin. Is that cheating?"

YES...!!!

How could we check you are doing otherwise?

LOL


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

I just finished this lecture last night. I didn't expect that my gut reaction would be that Ruskin was rather arrogant about his opinion of morals and art. Most of what I took out of this is that he wants the artist to understand what is true art, what is fake, that some art is evil in nature and is a reflection of society and society a reflection of it. This was said in many ways and yet the quote I took out of this:

(and this just happened to be in italics which I did not notice until after I went back to re-read it)

"...and a certain distress in the middle classes, arising, partly from their vanity in living always up to their incomes, and partly from their folly in imagining that they can subsist in idleness upon usury...."

That seems to be true of the middle class in the US today. Perhaps that is the nature of the middle class.


message 12: by Eugene (new)

Eugene | 479 comments @ Proustitute
Reading Proust led me to reading Pater, the Preface & Conclusion to The Renaissance plus his later works excite me, & now to reading Ruskin, thank you-I'm mostly through Lecture 3, The Relation Of Art To Morals-I'd like you to discuss how Ruskin broke "new ground stylistically," tell us about his "new stylistic innovations" & provide references if possible when your power returns.

I find the styles of Ruskin, Pater & Proust similar.

And I appreciated Searls' lecture on his translation of On Reading, Proust's unusual preface & 'breakthrough' to his own writing, informative; thanks Kalliope. I ordered it.

As a New Yorker, I sympathize as I was without power for two days myself, Sandy continues...


message 13: by Haaze (new) - added it

Haaze | 1 comments Kalliope wrote: "I have just found this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkDTA6... "



Wonderful & enriching lecture! Many thanks for posting it Kalliope!


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Proustitute - I hope you get your power back soon! And not just for the selfish reason of seeing your thoughts.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Great news. I plan to start Lecture 2 tonight.


Elizabeth (Alaska) Proustitute wrote: "Thanks, Jeremy. Power is back!

I'll probably join in on Ruskin this coming week for Lecture 2."


Yippee! (Hope Athena didn't set you back again.)


message 17: by Nick (new)

Nick Wellings | 322 comments Thank you for posting Searle's lecture, Kalliope. I will definitely be watching it in the next few days.


message 18: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
Nick wrote: "Thank you for posting Searle's lecture, Kalliope. I will definitely be watching it in the next few days."

I have only watched the first episode. Hopefully will watch the others (I think two more) this coming w/end.


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