City Notice – On The Delhi Proustians

City Notice – On The Delhi Proustians

City Notice – On The Delhi Proustians

No longer a Proust-virgin.

[Photos by Divya Babu]

The Delhi Walla is finally plucked. This week I finished Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time — all the seven volumes.

As founder of The Delhi Proustians, I’m happy to tell you that the novel is as easy as a beach read. Lost Time has an entertaining mix of poetry and meanness. It is made of love, spite, bad manners, and lots of bitchy ladies, society parties and tittle-tattle.

Proust, a half-Jewish homosexual, was obviously an old aunty — only a yenta could have written this line:

Excessively well-bred and immensely boring.

Or this:

The antiquity of her family, the splendor of her house, the rudeness of her daughter-in-law.

Or this:

Ah, Beethoven! – what a bore!

And this is my favorite:

She’s an ex-whore. Her husband’s a Jew, and she comes here to pose as a Nationalist.

But Lost Time is also delicate and melancholic and passionate and introspective and artistic and it has a spirit that feels for things with extraordinary keenness.

You will become a lifelong disciple of Proust if you are into any of these:

1. Sex
2. Old Buildings
3. Small Talk
4. Religion
5. Sluts
6. Virginia Woolf
7. Classical music
8. Walking
9. Family cooks
10. Louvre
11. Middle-Age
12. The God of Small Things
13. Low Life
14. Frenchmen
15. Railway Stations
16. Reading
17. Museums
18. Jews
19. Insomnia
20. Russian Classics
21. Recipes
22. Solitude
23. Impressionism
24. Actresses
25. People Watching
26. Childhood
27. Painting
28. Grandmothers
29. Faubourg Saint-Germain
30. Sensitive Boys
31. Whores
32. Vermeer
33. Writing
34. Picture postcards
35. Death
36. Jane Austen
37. Politics
38. Gossip
39. History
40. Hypocricy
41. Travel
42. High Fashion
43. Thomas Hardy
44. Whipping

I may sound sentimental and unconvincing but I’m devoting my life to Proust.

Because I want to have an as intimate experience with Marcel as I can. Because I too want to make my home in remote, lost objects. Because I too fancy having the habits of a feudal grandee. Because I too like living in the world of ideas. Because culturally I too want to be Jewish. Because Marcel too would have loved Delhi.

The weekly meeting of The Delhi Proustians will soon start. With particular regrets, I must inform you that entry will be by invitation only. (You know I love you but this club is exclusively for true Proustians.)

Of course, I will keep you updated.

Marcel did it to me

City Notice – On The Delhi Proustians