Friday, December 30, 2011

Aimless Reading: The P's, Part 44.3 (Marcel Proust)

Sodom and Gomorrah
Proust, Marcel
Sodom and Gomorrah

Purchased at Talking Leaves...Books.

Sorry for the week-long silence. I've been in Nashville for the past week visiting my mother. I'd never been to Music City before, so we spent most of the week taking in the various tourist attractions: The Opryland Hotel, the Grand Ole Opryhouse, the Ryman Auditorium (home of the original Opry until 1974), the Hermitage (Andrew Jackson's plantation), the Country Music Hall of Fame, and Nashville's aggregated concrete scale-recreation of the Parthenon.

I can't say I had a strong feeling for Nashville one way or the other. They have lots of nice tourist attractions, but I didn't get a good sense of the city itself or its people. My mother is a transient. She'll probably stay another year or two before moving back to winter-free Florida. She lives in a gated over-55 community twenty minutes outside the city. It feels like most of these kinds of communities. That is, it could be anywhere -- Nashville, Sarasota, Phoenix. The only way you can tell one from the other is by the weather and possibly the kinds of Flora that decorate the walking paths.

But they have lots to do for seventy-something singles like my mother. The clubhouse has a pool and a gym and a computer (my mother still doesn't have internet access at home) and each day's calendar is filled with free activities for community members.

She's happy, so I'm happy.

from Sodom and Gomorrah

As I was not in any hurry to arrive at the Guermantes soirée, to which I was not certain of having been invited, I whiled away the time outside; but the summer daylight seemed in no greater haste to move than I was. Although it was after nine o’clock, it was still the daylight that, on the Place de la Concorde, had given to the Luxor obelisk an appearance of pink nougat. Then it modified the tint and turned it into a metallic substance, with the result that the obelisk did not merely become more precious, but seemed thinner and almost flexible. You fancied that you might have been able to twist it, that this jewel had already been bent slightly out of true perhaps. The moon was in the sky now like a quarter of an orange, delicately peeled but with a small bite out of it. Later it would be made of the most resistant gold. Huddled all alone behind it, a poor little star was about to serve as the solitary moon’s one companion, while the latter, even as it shielded its friend, but more daring and going on ahead, would brandish, like an irresistible weapon, like a symbol of the Orient, its marvelous, ample golden cresent.

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