About Me

Friday, November 21, 2008

Excerpt from "Swann's Way" by Marcel Proust

I've always marveled at Proust's description of memory. Tonight, I awoke in my bed after having slept at 6:30 pm and it is now only about 9:30 pm. I was able to compare how I felt with Proust's description of a similar moment.

"but then the memory - not yet of the place in which I was, but of various other places where I had lived and might now very possibly be - would come like a rope let down from heaven to draw me up out of the abyss of not-being, from which I could never have escaped by myself: in a flash I would traverse centuries of civilization, and out of a blurred glimpse of oil-lamps, then of shirts with turned-down collars, would gradually piece together the original components of my ego."

Perhaps this sleep that I had was a continuation of my distracted recollections, earlier today, of a time about twenty three years ago when I was a doctoral student. The abyss of not-being is analogous to the time-bubble that I had created around me while remembering my aspirations while I was a graduate student. I had traversed a quarter-century to explore a blurred recollection of the person that I was and had returned with regrets about things that could have been.

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