Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Reading Time Regained

I have been spending my two snow days finishing up the seven-volume novel by Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time. It all only took me a few months short of two years to read. And it is finished. Here is a snippet I read today in the last volume, Time Regained:

In reality every reader is, while he is reading, a reader of his own self. The writer's work is merely a kind of optical instrument which he offers to the reader to enable him to discern what, without this book, he would perhaps never have perceived in himself. And the recognition by the reader in his own self of what the book says is the proof of its veracity, the contrary also being true, at least to a certain extent, for the difference between the two texts may sometimes be imputed less to the author than to the reader. (trans. Mayor, Kilmartin, and Enright)

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