swann explains the problem with newspapers

“ ‘Well, I’m sure you’re right,’ replied Swann in amazement. ‘But what I think is wrong with the newspapers is that every single day they make you take an interest in tribia. Whereas in a whole lifetime you may only read three or four books which have really essential things to say. The way people eagerly open their paper every morning makes you want to change things a bit and put in something like, say, the . . . Pensées of Pascal!’ This title he pronounced with a special ironic stress, so as to avoid appearing pedantic. He went on, expressing the disdain for fashionable society that fashionable society men sometimes affect. ‘And then, in the leather-bound tome that you read once in ten years you could put that Her Majesty the Queen of the Hellenes is visiting Cannes and that the Princess of Léon has given a fancy-dress ball. That way, people could keep a sense of proportion.’ ”

(Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way, trans. James Grieve, p. 18.)

july 1–15, 2013


  • Rebecca Lee, The City Is a Rising Tide
  • Mohsin Hamid, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia
  • Samuel R. Delany, Stars in My Pocket like Grains of Sand
  • Ted Chiang, Stories of Your Life and Others


  • Upstream Color, directed by Shane Carruth
  • Midnight, dir. Mitchell Leisen
  • Side Effects, dir. Steven Soderbergh

june 16–30, 2013


  • Rivka Galchen, Atmospheric Disturbances
  • Norman Rush, Whites
  • Giorgio Vasta, Time on My Hands, translated by Jonathan Hunt
  • Joseph McElroy, Cannonball
  • Dana Ward, The Squeaquel
  • Pamela Moore, Chocolates for Breakfast


  • Avalon, directed by Mamoru Oshii
  • Half-Baked, dir. Tamra Davis
  • Despair, dir. Rainer Werner Fassbinder
  • Zodiac, dir. David Fincher
  • Broadcast News, dir. James L. Brooks
  • Le mystère Picasso, dir. Henri-Georges Clouzot


  • “Cambodian Rattan: The Sculptures of Sopheap Pich,” Met
  • “The Boxer: An Ancient Masterpiece,” Met
  • “The Civil War and American Art,” Met
  • “Velázquez’s Portrait of Duke Francesco I d’Este: A Masterpiece from the Galleria Estense, Modena,” Met
  • “At War with the Obvious: Photographs by William Eggleston,” Met
  • “Land Marks,” Met
  • “Objects from the Kharga Oasis,” Met
  • “Italian Renaissance and Baroque Bronze Sculpture from the Robert Lehman Collection,” Met
  • “Paul Thek and his Circle in the 1950s,” Leslie + Lohman Museum of Gay And Lesbian Art