Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Sea forms and Proust

Sea forms
Originally uploaded by jhhymas.
Investigating my books to enter them on LIbrarything, I found the three volume Proust, which still stands as a reproach to me. I've always been such a serious reader, but this has stopped me cold several times. The last time (after a hip replacement) I marked this passage on page 20. (I did get some further, but not even halfway through the first volume.)
It is really very intelligent and has made me plan to try again.
* * * *
“Even the simple act which we describe as “seeing someone we know” is to some extent an intellectual process. We pack the physical outline of the person we see with all the notions we have already formed about him, and in the total picture of him which we compose in our minds those notions have certainly the principal place. In the end they come to fill out so completely the curve of his cheeks, to follow so exactly the line of his nose, they blend so harmoniously in the sound of his voice as if it were no more than a transparent envelope, that each time we see the face or hear the voice it is these notions which we recognize and to which we listen.”

Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way,
translated by C. K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, p. 20

That last sentence is SOME sentence! But I think this is really a very acute perception.
This picture is of the Chihuly glass on exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Tomorrow, I have some T.S. Eliot for you . . .
No kidding!

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