A la Recherche du Temps Perdu

As the political situation becomes more absurd by the minute – and let’s say no more about that – we arrive at the end of the summer holidays.

For those of us newly retired the thrill of NOT returning to work in the first week of September is still a novelty and I look forward to a day on the beach after everyone has disappeared. This will be followed by a leisurely day out in the MARQ (archaeological) museum in Alicante.

Maybe also a day messing about in the Spanish part of Benidorm where there are decent Basque tapas bars that the British rarely discover: and they will be quiet in September. Also time for a first look at the archaeological explorations under the Benidorm Castillo, which should provide an interesting addition to the rich military history of the town that most visitors never bother to explore.

One of the top five things on my retirement list was to read Proust’s A la Recherche du Temps Perdu. Luckily, Radio 4 is providing a (Bank Holiday) feast: the entire Proustian oeuvre reduced to three days of summarised episodes. Starts this Saturday.

Yes, OK, I’ll provide the inevitable link to the Monty Python “summarising Proust” sketch. It was after all one of the highlights of life in RAF Halton, Anson Flight, Barrack Block 1, in 1969. Who would have thought that 16 and 17 year old RAF engineering apprentices might have joked on the parade square next day about summarising Proust? But thanks to Monty Python, the culture was enriched and even I knew who Proust was, but I still haven’t read A la Recherche du Temps Perdu… and I’m now nearly 68.

Summarising Proust Competition – Monty Python classic.

See BBC Radio 4 for the programming of Proust’s classic this coming weekend. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0007xsq

Marcel Proust

À la Recherche du Temps Perdu consists of seven volumes totalling around 3,200 pages and most people would never read it, so it’s a great opportunity to suffer about ten hours on radio hearing a summary of the best bits. I see it as an opportunity to catch up with the washing up.

3 thoughts on “A la Recherche du Temps Perdu

  1. It was a mistake to try and eat my lunch under the pergola while listening to the first two hours of the Proust marathon while the donkeys were around the house. Matilde was convinced the food was for her and I had simply taken it to the wrong place, so we had mooing noises Then Morris successfully managed to throw a plastic bucket at the pergola (yes really!) Rubí decided that she would get my attention by chewing the garden hose and pulling it across the crazy paving. So I broke off from Proust to sort out all that and found Aitana about to eat my flowers. Chased them all back to the field and locked the gate.

    It was the only eventful moment in the entire two hours of Part 1 and 2, Swann’s Way. Luckily there’s a four hour break before the next episode later this evening. I am quite convinced Mr Swann is the most boring character ever to fill page after page after page of the longest novel ever written and I am only continuing with this until Monday’s final episode in the forlorn hope that such marathon mental activities ward off dementia. The contrary theory is that they bring it on much more quickly…


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