The Proust Book Club Archives - The Millions

June 12, 2017

A Visit to ‘the Desert of After Proust’ 4


When I first started thinking about this post, I wanted to title it: How Proust Convinced Me to Give Up My Smartphone. But to write that essay, I’d have to give up my phone, and I don’t want to.

March 3, 2017

What Marcel Proust Taught Me About Characterization 2


Literary characters are like long distance friends. Your perception of them is brief, but intense.

November 8, 2016

Layered in Sleep with Marcel Proust 0


As you might well expect from an invalid, Proust brings a wealth of personal experience to the subject of sleep.

August 31, 2016

Proust Book Club: On Reading Recklessly 3


In real life, it would be hazardous to take on another person’s point of view so completely, but in reading, you can be reckless.

July 7, 2016

Bill Cunningham’s Proustian Eye 1


Cunningham often said he was looking for beauty, and he believed that it could be found anywhere. Like the great novelists, he taught us how to see other people, and the world.

June 2, 2016

In Which Marcel Proust Anticipates a Minor Mid-Life Crisis at My 15-Year College Reunion 0


It wasn’t until midway through lunch on the second day, while nursing a bit of a hangover, that I realized that my vision was compromised.

April 7, 2016

Gluten-Free Proust 1


Anything is tasty when you haven’t had dairy, gluten, refined sugar, corn, potatoes, processed foods, or alcohol for several weeks.

March 14, 2016

Doing Laundry with Marcel Proust 3


Marcel’s questions about Swann’s life and his love affairs are essential questions of childhood: what is love, what is sexual desire, what is society, what is class, what, in short, are these mysterious forces that are shaping life but which no one alludes to directly?

February 9, 2016

The Proust Book Club: The View From Age 38 4


Proust was 38 years old and in poor health when he started writing. He knew he did not have any time left to waste. He believed — as it turned out, accurately — that he was writing on deadline.

January 26, 2016

The Proust Book Club: An Introduction 17


And so, here I am, 10 years (!) later, trying again to finish one of the best novels I’ve ever read, possibly the best novel I’ve ever read. (I’ll know for sure when I finish.)