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.
The antiquity of her family, the splendor of her house, the rudeness of her daughter-in-law.
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:
2. Old Buildings
3. Small Talk
6. Virginia Woolf
7. Classical music
9. Family cooks
12. The God of Small Things
13. Low Life
15. Railway Stations
20. Russian Classics
25. People Watching
29. Faubourg Saint-Germain
30. Sensitive Boys
34. Picture postcards
36. Jane Austen
42. High Fashion
43. Thomas Hardy
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