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In my Shelf Awareness feature, I admitted to this:
Book you’ve faked reading: Du Coté de Chez Swann by Marcel Proust. In French. I was trying to impress a professor who I later learned was gay. Quel dommage!
I wish I could be more patient with this book, because the bits and pieces I’ve read are truly beautiful. All four of them. Yet the book was so good that one of the several publishers that rejected it later wrote him an apology. However, the image above stole my heart–it’s a galley proof from a manuscript that sold at Christies for £663 750. But that’s not what stole my heart–it’s his cutting-and-pasting technique. Masterful. But how did the poor man write a whole work of literary genius without Post-It Notes? No wonder he died young.
And p.s., Proust is wise:
“Every reader finds himself. The writer’s work is merely a kind of optical instrument that makes it possible for the reader to discern what, without this book, he would perhaps never have seen in himself.”
Your turn–have you fake-read any good books lately?
This is probably my favorite daily e-mail. If you like books, subscribe. They’ll tell you what’s new, what’s hot, what’s interesting and what’s in the news.
Once a week, they pick a writer to be the “Book Brahmin,” and the answers always intrigue me. I got to be the Book Brahmin one day in March, and here are some of the questions and responses. I’ll post one or two over the next few days. Your mission–post your answers in Comments!
On your nightstand now:
SW: The Urban Outfitters catalog, a Clairefontaine notebook and pen, a tin of Bag Balm, a chapter of my work-in-progress, and The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington by Jennet Conant. I adore Roald Dahl, and I’m a sucker for true stories of heroic deeds in WWII.
Your turn: What’s on your nightstand?