Proust is annoying . I mean, it’s not JUST that he goes on at such
ridiculous length about such mundane things, it’s that it doesn’t
even make any sense! Ooh, I wake up and I have no memories! I
have no idea where I am! Then I still don’t know where I am but at
least I start to remember all the other rooms I’ve ever woken up in!
I’m too sleepy to move so I have to figure out from the way I’m lying
and how my arms and legs feel where all the walls and furniture in
the room are… Proprioception is my only sense, screw normal ones
like vision. And I’m immediately going to think I’m a child and in my
childhood home again, because of course I do.
I just started reading Swann’s Way and have no idea how people
get through this stuff.
If you really want to hear some truly epic digressions on all manner
of things that, nonetheless, has an actual story to digress FROM,
then go read The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson. It narrates a
fictionalized history of the “pre-Enlightenment”, the dawn of the
Scientific Age. It prominently includes a lot of the real drivers of
history – Newton, Hooke, Leibniz, John Wilkins, Christopher Wren,
Louis XIV, William of Orange, just to name the major ones- and
introduces several fascinating original characters in the
Stephensonian mold. The series contains 3000 pages set in the late
17th- early 18th century, and ranges all the way from England to
France to Denmark to Vienna to Algiers to the Caribbean to Surat to
Malabar to the Arctic to California to Boston and back, with several
additional back and forths along the way. It is gripping throughout,
frequently hilarious without trying very hard, and always manages to
pull you back just when you think it’s safe to put it down.
It has now been 38 days since I came to this rig, and my manager
has finally said I can get off next Tuesday, which will make it 44,
which is more than enough time for anyone to spend on a metal
structure in the middle of the ocean. Hopefully, at that point my tone will become a lot less cranky.