Yarb: Around late August/early September, around the news of Wallace's demise, I requested Infinite Jest from the library. Well, it just came in, so I will try to tackle that while you're waiting for your delivery. The reading population of Indianapolis is waiting with baited breath for me to finish, so I plan on starting tonight.
Considering it is such a long book, I may be a little longer than your delivery, but I'll keep you posted.
Interesting. Checked the Upper Hudson Library System and all are "checked in." Moncreiff is the primary translator that the newer translations are all "much better than." To read Proust is a major resolution. It took me eight months of constant effort to get through it. Unbelievable bright spots, bore-you-to-sleep other passages. Suggest you try the movies Swann in Love and Time Regained, too.
As I expected, with the coming of the new year every copy of Proust in French, English and Xhosa is checked out of my public library system, as one of the most popular new year's resolutions of all is acted upon by hordes of putative Proustophiles, writhing and thrashing like spermatozoa at the commencement of their quest - only a few, or maybe none at all, will make it to the end of Time Regained.
Anyway, I've forked out for all six or seven (I'm not sure exactly) volumes on Amazon and they should arrive in about a week. Go ahead and get started if you like, TYP, I'll catch you up. Meanwhile, feel free to email me with your thoughts - let me know if you can't track my email down.
"French writer. Total loser. Never had a real job. Unrequited love affairs. Gay. Spent 20 years writing a book almost no one reads. But he's also probably the greatest writer since Shakespeare. Anyway, he uh... he gets down to the end of his life, and he looks back and decides that all those years he suffered, Those were the best years of his life, 'cause they made him who he was. All those years he was happy? You know, total waste. Didn't learn a thing. So, if you sleep until you're 18... Ah, think of the suffering you're gonna miss. I mean high school? High school-those are your prime suffering years. You don't get better suffering than that."
Well, it's a classic anyway--it's often (ad nauseam, even) used as an example of how different the media of novels or literature and screenwriting are: there is no way, every last blessed screenwriter or producer will tell you, that Proust's Remembrance of Things Past could work as a movie. I imagine, for this reason alone, that someone's going to try it someday. (Though in general, as I've trumpeted unbidden elsewhere on Wordie, I'm a vocal and ardent advocate of books and the movies that are made from them being purposely different.)
So, I thought that for 2009 I'd tackle Remembrance of Things Past, also known as In Search of Lost Time. It is, by all accounts, an amazing book that is also incredibly long. Anybody feel like joining me in this resolution?