Tuesday, April 10, 2012
CHANNELING MARCEL PROUST
Today, I went to pick out jeans for a friend of mine. In the store, I was surrounded by jeans on three sides! There were shelves in front of me, much higher than I could reach, and behind me on shelves and displayed on tables beside me. I was in an abyss of denim.
Ah, THAT smell! The evocative aroma immediately transported me back in time to the remembrance of the first day of school each year. As a kid, I never wanted to wear new clothes on the first day of school because of THAT smell. When I would get on the school bus, THAT overwhelming new-clothes smell would engulf me because every boy on the bus would be wearing new jeans!
Today, I felt like Marcel Proust and "the episode of the madeleines". In his classic "Remembrance Of Things Past", because of a "madeleine", Proust was transported back into his memory and was inspired to create his masterpiece. He coined the term "involuntary memory" and the term has been used in psychology since.
Each month, on the last page of the magazine, "Vanity Fair" has "The Proust Questionnaire" and it's always fascinating to read the thoughts of interesting people.
Proust's own answers, are equally fascinating.
At the age of 20, Marcel Proust put his own psyche under the microscope by answering questions meant to reveal one’s innermost thoughts. More than a century later, and as demonstrated on V.F.’s back page each month, the “Proust Questionnaire” continues to be a popular method of interviewing. This month, as Assouline publishes The Proust Questionnaire—with personalities such as Lee Radziwill and Diane von Furstenberg providing the answers—we present Proust’s own responses from 1892.
CLICK HERE to see the Vanity Fair article.
CLICK HERE to see "the madeleines" recipe (little sponge cakes).