Saturday, March 01, 2008

The proportions of this work

In Search of Lost Time is, of course, famously long; our Narrator does not skimp on the space needed to elaborate on a particular point, nor does he shy away from lengthy digressions from the apparent narrative thrust. But, in fact, for Proust's needs, the narrative is only as long as it has to be, and no longer (I say confidently, having not yet finished reading it). Still, I'd like to think that Proust wrote the following line, from early in Sodom and Gomorrah, with a knowing smile:

"The proportions of this work do not permit me to explain here. . . "

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