It’s surprisingly hard to get hold of Proust in the UK. I expect in France he’s everywhere; in station bookstalls and top of every Amazon search – but over here he’s seen as very – ahem! – recherche.
A little in-joke there for those of you who already know that Proust wrote ‘A la Recherche du Temps Perdu.’ This translates as In Search of Lost Time, though for some reason the first translator chose to go all Shakespeare on him and call it Remembrance of Things Past. I think that counts as cultural appropriation, quite frankly because it’s nowhere near accurate. Anyway, I first read Proust in the 1990’s and it took nearly all of that decade because Proust is not an easy read. His sentences are as long as most paragraphs and his thoughts complex and intertwining. It takes a long time to get into but once you’re there you can’t live without him and you come to realise that in fact Proust is God: there is nothing he doesn’t know.
So I have now successfully ordered Volume 1, ‘Swann’s Way’ (I’ve got all the books but they’re in storage and I can’t wait any longer.) I’ll go into this in greater depth when my book arrives.