Master psychologist as well as a tremendously talented novelist

So says Pejman Yousefzadeh of Proust in his review of Swann’s Way:

Within the tremendously long and incredibly descriptive Proustian sentences lay dazzling insights into the human condition, insights that have the reader nodding readily in recognition and ensure that Proust takes his place alongside Nietzsche and Dostoevsky as a master psychologist as well as a tremendously talented novelist. The book is rich with description and imagery and Proust is one of the best there is at transporting the reader into his mind, the better to understand Proust’s story. Tremendous credit must be given to the translating effort, which allows us to fully appreciate the overwhelming beauty of Proust’s story and prose. The nostalgia that is redolent in the book is powerfully affecting and many times, deeply moving. And the characters are unforgettable. One naturally feels sorry for Swann, so hopelessly in love and so blind to the manner in which he is being humiliated by the truly repulsive Odette. The Verdurins remind us of the shallow clique of people each of us has, at some point, run across in our lives. The narrator seems deeply burdened and almost overwhelmed by his emotions and his inability to attract Gilberte’s love is heartbreaking. And at the end of the book, we want more.

He also offers a Monty Python skit as proof of the iconic nature of Proust . . .

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.