À LA RECHERCHE: THE PRINTED WORD
Robin and Sofie have decided to start a literary magazine. They asked me to write something on Joyce for them... and maybe some other random musings that relate to the printed word. Ah. The printed word. I'm excited at the prospect of this project, and will be posting some potential submissions for the journal in the meantime. They've also asked me to contribute my extensive SPELLING skills (abc 123) to the journal's editing cause. I can't remember what they called it, but it's something akin to "Special Sauce," without sounding quite so "American Pie."
Anywhoos, in the meantime, I shall reflect on other printed words in my life. I have just started Proust's "A remembrance of things past" for Jean- Michel Rabatés graduate seminar. Last night I tried to read it when I got home, even though I rarely have much luck reading at 2 in the morning. I woke up, unsurprisingly, this morning, with the book lying on my stomach open to page one. I didn't achieve much except managing to bend the cover already, which is a new record for me. The amazing part, though, (and yeah- there is one) is that Proust's overture to the novel is a kind of dream sequence itself that weaves together memories the narrator has of falling asleep, reading, at a young age. Jonny mentioned in passing today that when he opened to the first page of a Remembrance, what struck him most was the incredible sentence structure the Proust uses. The first page is basically two sentences, but it doesn't feel heavy or breathless. Instead it reaffirms the airy, dreamlike quality that the narrator initially proposes.... Words oftentimes can seem heavy, exuding weight naturally, even mass. Long, elaborate sentence structures, much of the time, can appear confusing and convoluted, thereby emphasizing this characteristic. Cheers to you, Proust, and your ability to use vocabulary and syntax to weave a fine and dreamy veil before our very eyes.
More on this later when I have actually read more than just one page.