Anakana Schofield – Award Winning Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky

Beckett on Proust, in Proust (published 1931)

The scaffolding of his structure is revealed to the narrator in the library of the Princesse de Guermantes (one-time Mme. Verdurin), and the nature of its materials in the matinée that follows. His book takes form in his mind. He is aware of the many concessions required of the literary artist by the shortcomings of the literary convention. As a writer he is not altogether at liberty to detach effect from cause. It will be necessary, for example, to interrupt (disfigure) the luminous projection of subject desire with [p.12] the comic relief of features.

It will be impossible to prepare the hundreds of masks that rightly belong to the objects of even his most disinterested scrutiny.  He accepts regretfully the sacred ruler and compass of literary geometry. But he will refuse to extend his submission to spatial scales,  he will refuse to measure the length and weight of man in terms of his body instead of in terms of his year.   In the closing words of his book he states his position: ‘But were I granted time to accomplish my work, I would not fail to stamp it with the seal of that Time, now  so forcibly present to my mind, and in it I would describe men, even at the risk of giving them the appearance of monstrous beings, as occupying in Time a much greater place than that so sparingly conceded to them in Space, a place indeed extended beyond measure, because, like giants plunged in the years, they touch at once those periods of their lives – separated by so many days – so far apart in Time.’

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