WEEK ONE | MARCEL PROUST
“Who cannot recall, as I can, the reading they did in the holidays, which one would conceal successively in all those hours of the day peaceful and inviolable enough to be able to afford it refuge. In the mornings, after returning from the park, when everyone had gone out for a walk, I would slip into the dining room, where no one would be coming until the distant hour for lunch except for the old, relatively silent Felicie, and where I would have for my sole companions, most respectful of reading, the painted plates hanging on the wall, the calendar from which the previous day’s page had been newly torn, the clock and the fire, which speak, but without demanding that one answer them and whose quiet remarks are void of meaning and do not, unlike human speech, substitute a different meaning for that of the words you are reading. I would settle myself on a chair, near the small log fire…”
“I believe that reading, in its original essence, is that fruitful miracle of a communication in the midst of solitude”
Some observations are so astute that once you read them, you can’t imagine not having had the thought yourself. So it is with this observation, courtesy of Proust, who believed reading was spiritual and more than a means to an education or knowledge. How often do we take for granted the magical communion with another human being that reading affords us? The contradiction of human connection in seclusion is a unique pleasure and gift.
Our ode to that magic is our first print from Project 52 - a print a week for 52 weeks. You can view the print here.
Excerpts from Proust's Days of Reading (also titled On Reading).