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Monday, February 1, 2016

Will my life be changed?

I just finished reading Swann's Way, the first volume of Proust's In Search of Lost Time. Although this current translation of the overall title is more accurate to the original French, I prefer the original Remembrance of Things Passed as more poetic, which is no doubt because the phrase was lifted from a Shakespearean sonnet.

Whether or not I'll proceed to the other six volumes, I don't know. This first volume was over 400 pages, and the others must be about the same length because the total number of pages is over 3,000. Swann's Way stands on its own as a novel, so I don't feel a need to read further to attain a greater understanding of what I've read. Since I enjoyed it, however, I like having the option of reading the remaining volumes at any point in my life.

No, I don't think reading Proust will change my life, but I certainly had to adjust my reading style. The sentences are so long and the descriptions are so detailed that I had to go very slowly. That's a good adjustment for me because I normally have a tendency to read too fast which can lessen appreciation of good writing. Once I adjusted, I found that entering into Proust's world was worth the time.

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