Book two in Proust and like the first book for me, this is an audiobook listened to over Winter Break mostly while I did yardwork and played video games. I imagine if I told Proust this he would say: “Why are you speaking in English?” “What’s with your weird clothes” “What’s video games?”
Anyway, we are older now and love is in the air. Specifically the love of a young girl? Maybe? There were a lot of familiar thoughts happening in this book for me. For one, the crazy obsessive feelings you can get from a first “love” or whatever way it is appropriate to describe the feelings of the deep infatuation you feel at this age (teens). Our narrator feels it hard, and as we all know from our own experiences, when he stops feeling it, it is “poof” gone. It reminds me a lot of Romeo deep infatuation with Rosalind who he loves so deeply, so earnestly, so passionately, until he doesn’t! And also characters like Tina Belcher and one of the Homestarruner Teen Girl Squad “I Have a Crush on Every Boy”. I am not trying to diminish those feelings, and neither is Proust. They ARE very real and very really felt. But it’s hard not to look back at books like these (and Proust was writing this when he was in his 40s, so there’s no illusion here about his orientation to these ideas) and feel a kind of earnest warmth and sadness, loss and nostalgia, but also smug affection. It’s also very hard not to just let these things play out for the principals involved.