Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Name That Novel #15

Let's go across the Atlantic and back in time, about 100 years ago. This well-known author led an active social life, mixing with the aristocracy. The following excerpt was from the first volume of six. He was known for his style of creating extremely long sentences. This work was one of his efforts proving to be both creative and enlightening. See if you recognize him.

"... But when from a long-distant past nothing subsists, after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered, taste and smell alone, more fragile but more enduring, more immaterial, more persistent, more faithful, remain poised a long time, like souls, remembering, waiting, hoping, amid the ruins of all the rest; and bear unflinchingly, in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence, the vast structure of recollection.

And as soon as I had recognised the taste of the piece of madeleine soaked in her decoction of lime-blossom which my aunt used to give me (although I did not yet know and must long postpone the discovery of why this memory made me so happy) immediately the old grey house upon the street, where her room was, rose up like a stage set to attach itself to the little pavilion ... the streets along which I used to run errands, the country roads we took when it was fine ... the whole of Combray and its surroundings, taking shape and solidity, sprang into being, town and gardens alike, from my cup of tea."

(translation from French to English -- Moncrieff and Kilmartin, revised by Enright)

Good luck to all!

Hats off to Tina! She guessed correctly with Proust and his work, Remembrance of Things Past.


Tina said...

Well, no one else got it, so Proust.

teacherwriter said...

Thank you, Tina. I always loved the concept of his work.