Gaia is the word for "unity-of-life-processes". The experiment here is to unify the various threads of voice and sense of self together into an undivided unity. Spirituality, economics, politics, science and ordinary life interleaved.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

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.

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