On 10 July it was Marcel Proust's birthday. I am still reading À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time, or Remembrance of Things Past... or A la Búsqueda del Tiempo Perdido, as I am reading it in Spanish), taking my time with it, trying to read the way the book itself shows its reality: in detail, with caution, creating a world with every sentence. It is not easy or fast, but as one of the people in this article says "Proust sought to translate into words a phenomenology of human experience." Perhaps it is because this is also my own obsession (one which doesn't easily let me focus on academic knowledge) but I find Proust's work not only extraordinary but moreover essential; as someone who feels, remembers, thinks, experiences and lives.
... and really, it's not that difficult to read. Just be sure to enjoy the long and chunky sentences... and turn off your cell phone and/or computer for a while.
Original source: Six Writers on the Genius of Marcel Proust
"There was a time when literature was a main means of deep inquiry, when the human knowledge acquired by writing/reading a book was extremely valuable. One might long—as I do—for those days, particularly now when much of contemporary U.S. literature is pseudomoralistic epiphany peddling and/or empathy porn. When I want to restore my faith in literature, I read Proust."