Delhi Proustians – First Meeting With Marcel, Venice
First day, first show.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Very soon, his life will revolve around a single object—a book with 2,058 pages. And if in this world of million distractions he manages to read even five pages daily, it will still take him more than a year to finish the entire novel.
One evening The Delhi Walla meets literature student Lucio De Capitani outside the church of San Giobbe in the watery city of Venice. Mr de Capitani is all smiles. He is walking with a newly-purchased copy of Alla Ricerca Del Tempo Perduto. The Italian edition of French novelist’s timeless work, À La Recherche Du Temps Perdu, is known in the English speaking world as In Search of Lost Time. The novel is divided into seven parts but Mr de Capitani has chosen to buy all of them bound in a single volume—such an edition exists in original French, too, but unfortunately not in English.
Sitting on the steps leading down to the canal, Mr de Capitani (I first wrote about him here) flips through his new acquisition. “Two friends I got to know in the last few weeks are big fans of Proust. It seems that he literally changed their lives. They just can’t stop talking about him. Obviously, during our walks in Venice, I started feeling a little jealous of their intense love for that enormous mysterious book they were always talking about. And a little curious as well… So eventually, I had to buy the book. But of course it’s not a book like any other, neither in content, nor in weight. It is breaking my back as much I’m sure it will lift my spirit.”
The optimism is a brave act but 2,058 pages?
Mr de Capitani looks on at the smooth-flowing waters of the canal. He is no longer smiling. He gets up and prepares to throw Marcel Proust into the canal.
Yes, you can
That thing probably weighs more than Mr. Lucio AND the boat that’s whizzing past him.
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