Let's say we had wings, and a different breathing system, enabling us to travel through space. These would in no way help us, for if we visited Mars or Venus with the same senses we now have, we would see everything as we see things on Earth. The only true voyage, the only way to immerse ourselves in a "Fountain of Youth," would be not just to visit strange lands, but to have other eyes, to see everything through the eyes of others, of a hundred others, so as to see the hundreds of universes each of them sees, that each of them is. This we can do through art, through a painter, like Elstir, through a composer, like Vinteuil. With creators like these, we really do fly from star to star.
(Proust modeled his character Vinteuil principally on the composer César Franck.)
In the concert I attended Friday, August 17, 2012, Danny Driver turned in a beautiful performance of the Franck piece you see played here by Stephen Hough. (The hand-over-hand work is astonishing to watch live.)
The concert was part of Bard’s Summer Music Festival for 2012, Saint-Saëns and His World. Steve Smith, a festival veteran, wrote of the first weekend in the New York Times. I look forward to reading his report on Weekend 2.
In the pre-concert panel, I learned about two great Proust-related websites: Radio Proust and Proust Ink. Radio Proust, which you can find here, "was created by journalist and educator Larry Bensky in 2007. It is designed to explore many aspects of the life and works" of Proust. Proust Ink, which you can find here, is “devoted to studying and celebrating the life and works of Marcel Proust.” Its creator, William C. Carter,
is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of French. His biography Marcel Proust: A Life was selected as a “Notable Book of 2000” by The New York Times. Harold Bloom has written that Carter is “Proust’s definitive biographer” . . .
Although I may post something of note that occurs during this period, Prufrock’s Dilemma generally remains on hiatus, and I will be mostly offline through Labor Day (U. S. version) weekend. Thereafter, a “new edition” of Prufrock’s Dilemma will begin.
Credits: The image at the head of the post can be found here. The Proust quotation is as indicated, one of several chosen by Larry Bensky, who moderated the pre-concert panel, and who, among other things, is host and executive producer of Radio Proust. The quotations about Radio Proust and Proust Ink are at the indicated links for those sites.