Category Archives: closereading

a la recherche

I was on the underground making my way to the London Book Fair yesterday, hoping to stand out from the crowds of frantic publishers jostling there by carrying over my shoulder the fabulously pretentious “Proust Society of America” book bag which I bought on a trip to New York for a meeting at the Mercantine Library, but was disconcerted to notice that the man on the other side of the carriage was staring at me strangely, then eventually he lent over and said to me, “Have you read Proust?” to which I replied yes I had, most of it, but many, many years ago, at which this gentleman told me that on his retirement he had made a list of classics he hadn’t read, and In Search of Lost Time was top of it so he has since read it six times, on permanent rotation, breaking off between volumes for other novels and recently he’s been looking for a Proust close reading group, has scoured the internet for such a thing, had found the New York group but nothing like it in London; then we arrived at Holborn Station and he stepped off the train before I could ask to swap email addresses, not because I want to start a close reading Proust group, but… well, perhaps he’ll Google his way to this page, and perhaps some other London Proust lovers will too and then I can put them in touch with each other and so the Marcel Proust Underground Networked Book Group will be born.