Friday, February 22, 2013

One Hundred Years of the Soggy Madeleine

V.L. Hendrickson in the WSJ reminds us that it was 100 years ago this month that Proust published the first volume of In Search of Lost Time.

If you start reading it now, you might finish all seven volumes by the time the sesquicentennial rolls around.

Timely reminder from the FN Reader Services Dept.: Proust was not a neuroscientist nor was he the first (by a long shot) to link smell and memory, despite what acknowledged plagiarist and disgraced “journalist” Jonah Lehrer maintained.

I see that the Knight Foundation just paid Lehrer $20,000 to give a talk on plagiarism to their media/journalism conference. Shameful behavior on their part. If they were intent on giving him a platform for a mea culpa come-back speech, airfare and a hotel room would have been a better match for his sackcloth and ashes.

I smell a new book from Lehrer. Something in the neuroscience cum confessional memoir genre, like “My Brain Made Me Do It: A Writers Quest to Conquer His Compulsions.”

Hot tip from the FN Self-Promotion Dept.: I will happily deliver a fascinating, well-researched speech on the American, English, and French sources that Proust drew on for the madeleine episode. And I’ll do it for a fraction of what the Knight Foundation paid Lehrer.

Call me.

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