Proustism

This site will explore some literary background on Proust, but will mainly focus on introducing the reader to Proust's style of writing. I will relate his writing to some of the things we are learning in Hypertext Class as well as experiment with my own writing.

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Location: Tualatin, Oregon

This is my third year in the MAIS program at Marylhurst University and am excited to begin my thesis the fall of '05. I am the proud mother of 5-year old twins--Logan and Nikki---and have a great husband that has put up with me for 12 years.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

An Eye For An Eye

Proust had a sharp eye when it came to descriptions of people, flowers, churches, and mannerisms. Below is a scene where Marcel and his father are walking back from church on Sunday and pass by their friend, Legrandin, who is enraptured by a ladyfriend he is walking with:

"He passed close to us, did not break off his conversation with his neighbor, and from the corner of his blue eye gave us a little sign that was in some way interior to his eyelid and which, not involving the muscles of his face, could go perfectly unnoticed by the lady he was talking to; but seeking to compensate by intensity of feeling for the somewhat narrow field in which he had circumscribed its expression, in the azure corner assigned to us he set sparkling all the liveliness of a grace that exceeded playfulness, bordered on mischievousness; he overrefined the subtleties of amiability into winks of connivance, insinuations, innuendos, the mysteries of complicity; and finally exalted his assurances of friendship into protestations of affection, into a declaration of love, illuminating for us alone at that moment, with a secret languor invisible to the lady, a love-smitten eye in a face of ice." (pg 128)

Like the stroke of a painter's brush, Proust takes us from one detail to the other with the intesity of his senses. As mentioned in a previous posting, I feel Proust could work in Storyspace because sentences like these have the energy to break off into several different areas. For example, I could break off from his description of "winks of connivance, insinuations, innuendos," and create a box in Storyspace that explains the looks lovers give to one another when they first meet and become intimate. Or I might break off from the end of this sentence and create a box in Storyspace that has a short story on how eyes give a person away, such as the time when a stranger walked down my dormitory hall and I shivered with fear as he looked at me, so I quickly went into my room and locked the door. At 4:00 a.m. the next morning the campus police knocked on my door and reported there had been a rape on my floor and did I see anyone who looked suspicious walking around.

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