It strikes me that Proust, who died in 1922, five years before this volume Time Regained was finally edited and published—and who died almost two decades before World War 2—was prescient about the effects on the Germans of their defeat in the first world war. He throws his sympathy in the voice of Charlus, his evil but magnificent counter-self in In Search of Lost Time. I am wondering now if part of the power of Proust upon his European readers was this sense of a voice coming from the grave—this odd Jewish homosexual who became a ghostlike prophet and premonition of the horrors of insane, implacable prejudice that would arise in World War 2.
I take a break today from reading news about my hometown Tacloban, and escape from the mess of this dratted cancer, by reading Proust. November 22, 2013. And I guess it is fifty years since JFK died, the year of my birth.