I am reading more fluently at the moment thank you, my relations with books have always been a little rocky but I have raced through a few things lately and am limbered enough to attempt something that's been on the list for a long time, going at Proust again. It was maybe a decade ago I got halfway through the second volume of what was then a new revision of the Scott Moncrieff-Kilmartin translation, by DJ Enright. At the time, I fail to account for how, I had the six volumes in two different designs, in the Modern Library edition, even numbers had Impressionist reproductions on the cover, and sat easily in my small hands, and they alternated with pink and orange, less compactly formatted odd numbers, and that all seemed just fine back then. Coming back to the shelves after going round the Sun another ten times it seems the height of idiocy and waywardness. So I have set about acquiring the Impressionistic set, and I am much obliged to Abebooks in my search for just the right copies of the 1998 Modern Library Marcel. Except when I took delivery of Volume One yesterday (price £1.00) I saw straight away I had ordered a 1992 where I meant to have a 1998 - the muted silver and gold trim, and the photograph, fine though it is, of a rumpled pillow, could by no means take their place alongside my Volume Two, boasting this as it does
which is almost a discouragement to signing away all those hours and weeks to Proust's prose, when painting can do this for us in a matter of minutes, quarter of an hour tops. But but. There are miracles in great prose aren't there, the mystery and hilarity of communing with a great mind, that has so much to tell us. All six volumes of it.
When I ordered the Volume One, I was assured by the vendor that in spite of its cheapness, its only blemishes were as follows
Cover worn, marked and creased. Inscribed.
If I'd known it had been 'inscribed' with a hand drawn map of Europe, I might have paid a little bit more for it.