Judging Proust's Book From An Aristotlean Point of View
Marcel Proust's failure to play well with others; his lack of prudential or practical wisdom; and his insistent cognitive games - these three factors eventually win a beautiful relationship with others through the massive confessional that is Proust's art. The Book of Proust is practical wisdom on a biblical scale, as revealed via Marcel's practical foolishness and refined via a practical skepticism on a par with Montaigne's.
And the prose? Virtuistic, supple, sinuous - instinct rebels against this new snake in the garden. Because Proust fails to shock, like so many of his French colleagues, he nevertheless does not fail to build a relationship (a single unitary friendship on a grand scale) with his readers which is shocking in the way it involves readers in his neurotic verbal-emotional-worldly games.
Does this reader want to bitchslap the author? Sometimes. But since Proust is basically innocent and silly (albeit in a shrewd and wise way) I would regret it.