Remembrance Of Things Past 2008 discussion

Within A Budding Grove

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message 1: by Julie (new)

Julie (julies_27) Going to be starting book 2 soon, so I'm making this topic for discussions of things specific to book 2.

message 2: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan (jonathanhartbreaker) | 11 comments i am starting it today as well. i did not see a discussion thread for swann's way which i just finished though.

message 3: by Dottie (new)

Dottie  (oxymoronid) | 14 comments Jonathan -- the discussion of Swann's Way is in the Starting today topic.

Just helping with housekeeping y'all -- I'm thoroughly enjoying eavesdropping on your Proust talk when I get the time -- heh, sometimes even when I don't have the time.

message 4: by Shan (new)

Shan | 15 comments Fluffycat et al, I have finally finished Swann's Way!!!I also will be starting the next book soon. Are you diving in right away or taking a break? I have the new Stephen King at home and am sorely tempted but I'm afraid I'd find it hard to come back. What to do, what to do. Fortunately I have to get back to work and have tickets to an event tonight so don't have to decide till tomorrow. I can let it percolate.

By the way - my edition's little synopsis says the last part of Swann's Way (the walk in the Bois de Boulogne) takes place in 1913. Anybody know the dates for the first part and the Swann-in-Love part?


message 5: by Julie (new)

Julie (julies_27) I am taking a break, reading some science fiction and whatnot, before starting Within A Budding Grove. I'm probably going to start it within the next few days.

message 6: by Shan (new)

Shan | 15 comments I decided to take a break and read my new Stephen King but I'm carrying Budding Grove in my briefcase (it's considerably less bulky than Duma Key) so will be reading it at lunch, at least until I get to the point in the King that I have to call in sick to finish - just kidding - :)

message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Shan: Totally off topic ;-) Which King book are you reading? I thought he retired and wasn't writing new stuff. Is it any good?

message 8: by Julie (new)

Julie (julies_27) I started Within A Budding Grove today! It's already way easier to read than parts of Swann's Way. The gossipy tone is pretty entertaining thus far.

message 9: by Shan (new)

Shan | 15 comments Diana, it's called Duma Key. You're right, he said he was retiring a few years ago except to finish the gunslinger series. But then he came out with Cell a year or two ago, which was kind of a throwback to his earliest stuff. This new one is deeper, more cerebral, less action-packed, more character-driven; more like what he was writing right before he "retired." I like it. I'm about 2/3 through and will be returning to Proust soon, which I believe will be a relief.

End of Stephen King digression... My experience as a reader is that I live in the world of whatever book I'm reading at the time. Obviously I still work, etc., but my perceptions are colored by what I'm reading. I think I as a person am almost as much the sum of what I've experienced as a reader as by what I've experienced in real life. I wonder how reading Proust will change me, since I'm clearly going to be living in his world for a long long time, given how slowly I read when I'm reading him.

Anybody else feel that way?


message 10: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 16, 2008 08:37PM) (new)


I agree, what you read can change and form you as a person.

Personally, I think that's a good thing (depending of course on what a person reads ;-)). Overall, however, reading good books opens us up to the experiences of others and thereby expands our understanding of humans in general which shapes us, perhaps even in ways we don't know and more than likely colors how we look at the world on a daily basis.

How Proust will affect me? I'm not sure yet since I'm still in volume one but so far, it's confirmed to me that humans really are very much alike no matter where or when they live! I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not...

message 11: by Julie (new)

Julie (julies_27) I'm still in the Mme Swann At Home section, about a hundred and fifty pages in. I think there is a lot going on here, with our narrator being bullied by some intellectual friend of his father, then being heralded by being a great genius by Bergotte. And also, his eternal chasing of Gilbertine who seems to not be interested in him that way at all, but then he drops bombshells like visiting a brothel and donating his aunt's furniture there and having his first sexual experience with some cousin back in Combray.

Despite always wishing the novel had a bit more white space, chapters, or other natural breaks, I'm really enjoying this section.

message 12: by Ricki (new)

Ricki | 3 comments I have a funny feeling that I read somewhere that Proust actually did give some of his family's furniture to a brothel ah yes I found one reference to it - 'Most of the family furniture was by then in store, or donated with exquisite perversion to Albert, former footman to the Duc de Rohan, when he set up an all-male brothel.'

Here is the website - it has to do with a travel/lit article of 1997 -

message 13: by Julie (new)

Julie (julies_27) Yay, I finished Within A Budding Grove! Reading this one really made me want to visit the fictional town of Balbec next time I'm in France. I'll be starting the next book, The Guermantes Way, sometime early next month.

message 14: by Ricki (new)

Ricki | 3 comments Cabourg - the Balbec of the story - has two weathercams - one looks down the pormenade Marcel Proust -

That area of Normandy is simlar to the southern coasts of England in terms of weather, etc. You wouldn't call it extremely cold by, for example, Maine standards but certainly not where you would go for a swim in a warm ocean!
If you click on the History tab on this site and scroll down, you can see some of the buildings that would have been there when Proust was visiting the area.

message 15: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan (jonathanhartbreaker) | 11 comments fluffycat-

i must have totaly missed the part where he had his first sexual experience with a cousin in combray. can you point me to this? not to be too graphic, but what were the details?

message 16: by Julie (new)

Julie (julies_27) Jonathan, it was just an offhand reference, that is, he talks about it after the fact... sorry I don't remember exactly where it was.

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