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.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.