Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Proust and the Subjective Nature of Art

I started reading Proust's In Search of Lost Time (Volume 1), but I put it down after seventy-nine pages for Haddawy's translation of The Arabian Nights. Proust's classic, unlike the Arab classic, didn't make my heart beat heavier, it didn't make my eyes dilate nor did it increase my pulse rate. 

But this reminded of the subjective nature of art. Nabokov opined that, "The first half [of In Search of Lost Time] is the fourth-greatest masterpiece of 20th-century prose." And it appears that Martin Amis would agree with Nabokov, but Amis couldn't get through Nabokov's Adawhich I found enthralling. 

And reading Proust reminded me of an email I got six years ago from Debbie Carter, an agent with Muse Literary Management. Debbie wrote after reading a bit of the MS for Katie, "You have a very appealing style and [sic] I liked the writing’s sense of fun but [sic] I found the plot too jumpy."