Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Le Proust

What do you think of Proust? Last week, Doc referred to him as a literary example of impressionism-- how, exactly, does he translate impressionism into the written word?

Also, let's discuss the overtly clear Freudian implications of his recollections.

6 comments:

El Paco said...

I haven't yet made up my mind about his stream of consciousness. I sort of agree with what Brandon said in class - that toward the end you start getting more into the writing style

puddlewonderful said...

I think, Andrew, that it's just the way stream of consciousness is-- you have to wait a while to fall into it. Or perhaps the end was better. I know that I would have found it easier if I had read it all in one sitting.

So I was trying to think of how Proust could be seen as an impressionist writer. I suppose that Proust, like the impressionist, captures snapshots of time. He devotes whole paragraphs to the feeling of a single moment, and his writing is all fleeting impressions. He doesn't create a plot-based narrative, but rather a very, very personal account of stringed and connected impressions. He captures an experience. The impressionists focused on shapes, light, color, the experience of an image rather than a completely faithful rendering. Proust focuses on his experiences, from his personal perspective, rather than the somewhat objectively recalled events of his life.

Furthermore, if we are to say the impressionists are fascinated by light, Proust is fascinated by time. I know I'm echoing the introduction, but bear with me. The impressionists watched light reflect on surfaces-- glass, water. They watched how it changed over time, how it appeared in different settings. Likewise Proust deals with different sorts of time-- elapsed time, recollected time, how present time can reflect past time, how it can encapsulate past time.

Ehren said...

I can't say that I liked it too much. I thought his writing was a bit tedious. I didn't really like how the story was about nothing in particular, just recounting thoughts or idea of a general time. I did think it was interesting, though, the way he would touch upon different topics (like at sometimes he talked about Swann while other times he dwelled upon his mother's nighttime kiss).

bballinsupasta said...

i'm not a fan of proust. i like the character swann though. he was interesting. i also think that proust needs to grow up and learn to live without his mom.

tmichals said...

After everything that we have done regarding Proust, I still do not really get his purpose. I just don't really think he has significant about him to be reading, in my opinion. Please don't be mad at my for saying that, Mrs. Scandurro, but I just really didn't like it. Most of the writes we have studied have had significant, deep aspects to their writings, and I just didn't feel this from him. However, maybe I just didn't understand it. Who knows.

Manal said...

I think the character Swann was interesting, sort of. I mean, its true when I got used to the stream of consciousness, it was over. But I do think his stream of consciousness was better than Mrs. Dalloways.