As Jane Birkin apparently once said. "My mother was right. When you’ve got nothing left, all you can do is get into silk underwear and start reading Proust.”
I’ve always loved that image and the way it suggests that literature can, like silk, be something to luxuriate in. And you don’t get much more luxurious than Proust: the breadth of his writing, the beauty and the melancholy, the enormous ideas growing like flowers out of tiny, detailed observations.
The thing is, starting to read Proust is the easy bit. Actually finishing À la recherche du temps perdu, his masterpiece exploring the nature of time, memory, social anxiety, homosexuality at a moment in history, jealousy and loss, over many...
Start a 30-day free trial for unlimited access to Premium articles
- Unlimited access to Premium articles
- Subscriber-only events and experiences
- Cancel any time
Free for 30 days
then only £2 per week
Save 25% with an annual subscription
Just £75 per year