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Proust by Samuel Beckett

Proust (1931)

by Samuel Beckett

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Before I dig into In Search of Lost Time as the central pillar of my 30 Before 30, I checked a few books out of the local library to help me get started.

The most disappointing was Samuel Beckett's Proust.

I think my disappointment stems from my sincere enjoyment of Beckett's fiction, plays and poetry. I expected insight and connections from a writer of such cerebral work. Instead, most of Proust was just the kind of psuedo-psychological garble that reads like a parody of Foucault.

It's a slim novel and I was only able to wade through two-thirds of it. Beckett's thoughts weren't organized in a way that I could follow. Having not read Proust's work yet, I can hope that once I begin some doors will open, but despite my excitement at reading one master's views on another, this was the wrong book to start with. ( )
  jscape2000 | May 13, 2013 |
Beckett's wonderfully snotty essay on habit and the "suffering of being" in Proust has this wonderful line: "Habit is the chain that ties the dog to its vomit" ( )
  markpeterwest | Oct 1, 2009 |
Not the first time I tried to read this book, but I this time I had more patience & familiarity with Beckett which helped me get a lot out of it. Beckett described it as full of "pretentious pseudo-philiosphical jargon", and whilst I see what he meant it is a profound meditation on memory, habit and art, as he reads Proust through his highly idiosyncratic lense. A book to think about for years yet. Although I'd never heard of the 3 artists he discusses in the conversations, they also treat well trodden themes of the exhausted subject of art and the inability to express - and are in places extremely funny. ( )
  marek2009 | Jan 19, 2009 |
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