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Friday, March 12, 2010

The Love of My Life

Ahhhhhh, thanks to one of my favorite new bloggers (new to me, that is), Simple Life In France. She asked about the Thomas Browne passage I posted. That's when it occurred to me that maybe it was OT to include a passage from a seventeenth-century doctor, and great prose stylist, and quirky thinker in a blog that is purportedly about frugality.

What can I say? Reading--especially literature of the 16th and 17th centuries--is the love of my life. As it happens, it is also a frugal love, since books aren't all that expensive to begin with (thanks to Aldus Manutius for inventing the pocket-sized book back in the day). Plus there's always the library.

Every Frugality 101 writer exhorts: Use the library! You will save $xxxx/year. In truth, however, that doesn't do too much if you don't like what the library offers.

While other avocations are frugal in themselves--sewing, cooking, gardening come to mind--others are intrinsically expensive, like sailing and anything to do with horses. It's much harder to stick to the frugal path if your loves are intrinsically expensive.

On our drive to school today, Mr. FS and I listened to the unabridged recording of Swann's Way. Proust, incidentally, is probably the love of Mr. FS's life and he's read ALL of them, numerous times, in French as well as in translation. Rather fortuitously, the part we heard concerned Swann's efforts to interest Odette in the arts. Though she claimed to be interested, her response often involved the glassy-eyed boredom I sometimes see when I try to teach my admittedly arcane true loves.

The audiobook was from the library, by the way, which ordered it at Mr. FS's request.

I've written before about how lucky I am that the love of my life--in all senses--just happens to be frugal.

Because Sir Thomas Browne, who is the originator of the phrase "lie down in darkenss," died many a year ago, his works are long out of copyright, and are available all over the internet, free of charge.

What is the love of your life? Is it a frugal one?


Over the Cubicle Wall said...

I never could tackle Proust. Maybe an audio book would work.

I do recommend Dan simmons' Ilium as a way to channel Proust, Browning, Shakespeare, Homer, Nabokov and others.

Duchesse said...

Pearls, which can be somewhat frugal (I find imitations soulless) to very costly. A single pearl is often very satisfying.

Le Duc was an avid rider but an accident and escalating costs ended his days of lessons; he still loves horses, though.

Though you did not say, I am often surprised that people do not consider the cost of some hobbies before they leap in. That's why I was an avid runner- very low cost.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Cubicle--Unlike Mr. FS, I have a lot of trouble reading Proust. (It may be because I am a fast reader, and I think Proust is for slow readers) The audiobook is great! We have the unabridged of the first vol. My brother-in-law likes the abridged of the whole thing. Try it! It's wonderful to listen to.

@Duchesse--Yes--I agree that pearls can be frugal. One of these days, I may get my daughter some from your great sources. I'm sure Le Duc looked dashing on a horse, since he looks dashing any old way.

Funny about Money said...

Proust...mon dieu. Je l'ai lu en francais; je l'ai lu en anglais; puis encore je l'ai lu en by golly I never could get into chez Swann, at least not the way I could get into Malraux. Or Voltaire.

Alors I suppose that s'il y a un amour de ma vie, c'est Voltaire. Absolutely Voltaire. Just thinking about what the man would make of today's political scene...too good.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Funny--VOLTAIRE!!! Chacun a son gout.

simple in France said...

Looks like my earlier comment flew into cyberspace. . .but now that I'm back, there are even more comments to ponder. I have to admit, I cannot get into Proust either . . .can't help it.

BUT I've been thinking about the Canterbury tales quite a bit lately--probably because spring is coming. Now there's something I should try to ferret out online.

As for francophone authors--I like Kundera, which I realize is cheating. I'm ok with cheating.

Revanche said...

I have got to be the least literarily-talented person here. My goodness!

And I have that oh-so-expensive love of horses though I can, and have, settled for free hugs and just currying a horse to get my fix.