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Remembrance of Things Past: Reading Marcel Proust in Our Time
April 21 @ 6:00 pm
An event every week that begins at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, repeating until June 16, 2020
with Susanne Klingenstein
12 sessions: Tuesdays, 6-7 pm on Zoom
March 31 through June 16
Between 1909 and his death in 1922, Marcel Proust developed a scathing portrait of French society. The further he progressed in his project, the less he liked the society he depicted. Proust wrote much of his 7-volume novel in total social isolation, eventually even in a cork-lined room, recalling in exquisite detail the glory and nastiness of French society.
The novel’s famous first volume is entitled Swann’s Way. It begins with a small dinner party in the countryside in the 1870s, which is joined by a mysterious guest from Paris, a Jewish art dealer named Swann. He becomes the novel’s center of attention.
The narrator is, seemingly, a young boy who observes the goings-on from his upstairs bedroom. But the real narrator is the older Marcel who recalls the events while writing in bed and filters them through his mature sense of self.
The novel is about what it takes to be a moral human being in a tough and complex society. It’s about beauty, pleasure desire, greed, love and the lust to hurt. It’s about human meanness and how to resist it. It’s a life-changing book and now is the time to read it.
In this course, we will read Swann’s Way in increments of 40 pages a week. The course runs for twelve weeks.
The course will use the translation by C.K.S. Moncrieff.
Course fee: $120 /Temple Emanuel members, $150/non-members
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