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Monday, May 19, 2014

Non-Financial Accounting: Time Regained

I am beginning to recover from the end of the semester. I like every part of my job except grading. The worst part is assigning grades. I have a headache from the start of finals week till grade turn-in. Even after, since I get numerous sad and/or mad emails from students--only two so far, but the numbers may grow.

I am close to achieving a life goal: to read all volumes of Proust's "A La Recherche." I am on the last volume--"Time Regained"--and have 432 pages to go. It is a difficult read for me. My reading style (fast) does not coordinate well with Proust's complex sentences. Sometimes I can read only a handful of pages before stopping. Can I read 432 pages in two weeks, when I will go on vacation? I hope so.

The thing about reading Proust is that you forget what you've read almost as soon as you read it. My in-house expert, Mr FS, says that is to be expected. I asked him what to do when I've finished. He said "Start again." He's been doing that for over forty years.

Is anyone else reading a long and difficult masterpiece? I have many more on my list. Time is running out.


Gam Kau said...

I can't imagine reading Proust at this point. My information retention is negligible and my concentration extremely limited. I think it's age, but all the online (interrupted) reading I do certainly doesn't help. That said, I've been reading Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and I just downloaded Sidharttha by Hermann Hesse, and like you, being a fast reader doesn't really apply to this kind of reading. But I'll give it a go nonetheless. :)

Patience_Crabstick said...

Someday, I will read Proust. Lately, I'm reading Crime & Punishment. I packed it for a trip to Cape Town, almost as a joke, thinking I'd never touch it, but I did start reading it on my trip and it's actually not as painful as I thought it would be.

Frugal Scholar said...

@GK--I've been meaning to read the Meditations for a while. Thanks for the reminder. I'd be interested in hearing your take on the Hesse--I read all his stuff in high school (not that I remember anything of it)--it was a part of the zeitgeist and I'm wondering how/if it holds up.
@Patience--I read C and P a few years ago. It was quite a journey. I CANNOT believe you managed to read it on vacation. Very impressive. I read D and P AFTER I read Bros Karamazov (which I had also been trying to read for many years). IMO, Bros is the greater masterpiece--just in case you're looking for another intense experience.

Shelley said...

Sounds like reading Proust would be good for one's old age. Bill's Mom quit reading because she couldn't remember the story line, forgetting the first few paragraphs soon after she'd read them. If it is normal to forget whilst reading Proust it sounds as though it makes the perfect choice. I don't normally pick up exceedingly difficult choices, but rather alternate between serious topics like biography or history and 'fluff'. When I do encounter long sentences I am suddenly grateful for having learned to diagram sentences in junior high school. It seemed a fun but silly exercise at the time, but I have found it very helpful on occasion.