Friday, May 2, 2014

Dr. Proust

I don't actually know her last name. But we were riding up to the roof in the elevator together, and she came with me to admire my tomato plant, which, unlike some of its compatriots, seems to be flourishing. We got to talking, and she told me about going with her husband (one of three) because he wanted to support the Spanish Republic before Franco grabbed it by the throat. They ended up in Paris, where she wrote her doctoral dissertation on "Involuntary Memory in Proust". Apparently it wasn't just the madeleines. She says the whole book is about involuntary memory (hence, perhaps, the title: "Remembrance of Things Past"). We had a wonderful conversation about the workings of involuntary memory, and I am feeling a probably transitory desire to read Proust. We agreed that Terwilliger Plaza is a great place, full of lively, interesting people with energy and generosity of spirit.

Wow. Just wow.


  1. What a remarkable woman! Anyone who has read Proust strikes me as remarkable, and someone who's written a thesis on him is remarkable many times over. I too have often felt I should try reading him but have never done it. Maybe the time has come.... ("So many books, so little time").

  2. Roberta, Delightful post. Making madeleines was as far as I ever went with Proust. Too late for the challenge now. Been meaning to get here sooner after you presented at TUG. As you know, stuff happens to get int the way of good intentions.