Reading Proust in Book Club

Reading Proust in Book Club

My book club, like most book clubs, has shifted its membership over the years. When I was invited to join, there were at least a dozen members. Now we are six. Several folks moved away, and a couple passed away. We made a declaration to keep going. During one of our most doubtful periods, and at the loss of another member, someone asked: Has anyone read Proust? These are really bright people. We do have one man in the group, so I cannot say “bright women,” but these are not readers of best sellers or pop fiction. We are serious readers. And yet, not one of us had ever read Proust. So, we agreed to read one volume of Proust every other month. In between, we would read something else, to be determined, but something not so dense. And so, we began, not without some...

Life isn’t fair

Life isn’t fair

As I gaze at the photo above, I cannot know if these little boys were merely having fun or this was how they managed to eat. They look clean and decently dressed, so perhaps it was a game. Who can come up with the best treasure? I hope it was all in fun, but the neighborhood was poor. I will never know. A number of years ago, when I was a white belt in karate, there was an instructor who would get us all into push-up position, and while we held our bodies up by our palms or fists or fingertips—whichever push-ups we were doing that day—he would give a brief discourse  beginning with “life isn’t fair.”  Of course, no discourse feels brief when one is holding a push-up position. I took this instructor’s class many times until I myself began to teach, and I...

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