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Category: Proustian

  1. My Road to Romanticism

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    CulturalWriter and Chopin music SQUAREI am happy to say that I am an old romantic. I am a confirmed Lisztian, having spent the last 8 years researching and writing a book on the pianist. I am also currently streaming myself on weekday evenings learning Chopin nocturnes on my Twitch channel as part of #the100dayproject.

    Surprisingly, my road to Romanticism didn’t start in my piano lessons. Nor did it involve any personal Damascene moments. Instead, it went the way by Proust’s Swann, the local library and a friend’s record collection. In this blog post I’ll map out my own personal path that led me to Liszt.

  2. New Year, New Language Studies

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    French dictionaryI’ve never been one for New Year’s Eve celebrations. I’ve also never been one for New Year’s resolutions. However, this year I’ve decided to set my cynicism aside and actually make one. It’s a little late, I know, but here it is:

    I resolve to get better at French in 2020.

    Of course, I have no expectation that I’ll be speaking the language fluently any time soon, if ever.

    I can, though, look to improve my listening, reading and writing skills as well as my spoken French. I can take easy, practical steps over the coming months to get better. This blog post is my promise to myself that I will set out and complete this journey. 

  3. Listening to Proust: Comparing the two BBC Dramatizations of Proust’s In Search of Lost Time

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    Proust Novel and HeadphonesThere are many barriers to entry when it comes to reading Marcel Proust’s novel In Search of Lost Time. Most obviously, it’s very long – 7 volumes in the original French (usually reduced to 6 in translation) and runs to over 3,000 pages. It’s also notoriously complex. Proust’s text is written in an allusive, meandering style that requires a high level of concentration from the reader. It is, therefore, easy to be put off. Many give up after the first volume, The Way by Swann’s. In fact, you could argue that you shouldn’t start reading Proust at all, given the commitment that it requires.

    If the thought of reading this novel is a little overwhelming, don’t panic! Instead of reading Proust’s In Search of Lost Time you can listen to it. 

  4. The BBC’s New Dramatization of Proust: Predictions and Thoughts

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    Proust Novel and HeadphonesThe BBC have announced that they'll be broadcasting a new 10-hour long dramatization of Marcel Proust’s great novel À la recherche du temps perdu, adapted by Timberlake Wertenbaker, over the bank holiday weekend of 24-26th August 2019. I’m thoroughly looking forward to it and will definitely listen to the whole sequence as soon as it’s available. 

  5. Why You Shouldn't Read Proust!

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    This year marks one hundred years since the French author Marcel Proust won Le Prix Goncourt for his book À l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs, the second part of his famous novel sequence À la recherche du temps perdu. On a more personal note, it’s also ten years since I was hard at work on my own engagement with Proust’s work – In Search of Vinteuil: Music, Literature and a Self Regained (Sussex Academic Press, 2010).

    To celebrate these anniversaries, I’ll be posting a series of blog posts on Proust in the coming weeks. I begin with…

    Why You Shouldn’t Read Proust!