Monday, 9 November 2009

Greer takes on Proust. Greer wins.

Germaine Greer at Humber Mouth Festival 2006
Image credit: Here

Germaine's never been one to hold back. If she's got an opinion, she'll let you know it and frankly, although I don't always agree with what she's saying, I think it's a damn good thing that we have someone like her around. It takes a lot of grit to come out and say what you're really thinking, particularly if it's not the kind of thing that's 'supposed' to be said out loud and kudos to her for doing it.

This article is yet another example of Greer's refreshing (and occasionally scathing) honesty. This woman is a fully fledged card-carrying member of the literati - a PhD from Cambridge and Professor Emeritus in Literature and Comparative Studies of University of Warwick, one of the most influential feminist theorists in the 20th century - and yet here she is, yet again, saying what no other literary person would dare to say publicly: If you haven't read Proust, don't bother. It's a waste of your time. She herself has, of course, made the epic journey through all five volumes and goes on to give a critical commentary of the many and varied translations but basically, the first paragraph said it all for me. There are, according to Greer, better things to do with your time than hauling yourself through this book - such as visiting a demented relative or walking the dog.

Thank you, Germaine, for alleviating some of my "I really should have read that" literature anxiety. I knew I'd never read this but now I don't feel bad about it. Not even a little bit.

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