Okay, if you’re a regular reader, you know I’ve been enmeshed — er, enrossed — in Proust. As many pages as I can stand, each evening.
In my previous Proust post, I pondered on how his prose struck me like a heavy drug trip: you know you’ve had a profound experience, but you are not sure you could describe it.
Litlove commented that she had to write about Proust as a critic. I was suitably impressed.
It got me to pondering more about what makes Proust Proust.
Somehow, that got me thinking about Kerouac, another writer I’ve been reading and whose work I admire. Then I got to pondering (I ponder quite a bit in my downtime): Why am I associating these two writers in my mind?
I think I may have hit upon a link–I’d like to hear your thoughts. The prose of Jack and Marcel cannot be discussed in terms of conventional literary devices (plot, character, dialogue) if you have a hope of conveying their writing. You can discuss theme, but I think with both writers you would have to broaden the discussion.
They are working on a different plane than many other fiction writers: Employing Language to convey Big Ideas. Kerouac also employs Style/Voice (which I cannot precisely account for in Proust).
Is this simplistic or just plain wrongheaded? Am I figuring something out that about a hundred critics have already figured out 20 years ago? What do you think about the Jack and Marcel connection — and which other authors work on the same plane?
A note about your comments: I love comments. I feel as if I am having a discussion or actually connecting with a person. Maybe that’s a technical glitch, a mechanical illusion. But I don’t care. Bring on the comments! Please know that I cherish each and every one of them. Even when I don’t quite understand them.