Monday, September 17, 2007

Proust on the Luce

Could it be that Steve Carell's role as the foremost Proust scholar in the United States in Little Miss Sunshine has helped bring Proust back into the mainstream? This fall sees two titles: Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain by professor of child development at Tufts University, Maryanne Wolf (Harper/Sept), and Proust was a Neuroscientist by Seed Magazine's editor at large, Jonah Lehrer (Houghton/Nov).
While Wolf takes the approach of relating the evolution of reading and its effects on the brain, Lehrer's angle is to illustrate where art and science converge and how art-- whether it be culinary, painting, or writing--predicted scientific breakthroughs.
So where does Proust fit in? In Proust and the Squid "Wolf takes the reader from the brains of a pre-literate Homer to a literacy-ambivalent Plato, from an infant listening to Goodnight Moon to an expert reader of Proust..." Whereas in Proust was a Neuroscientist, one chapter is dedicated to how the prolific revisionist unlocked the mysteries of memory.
Looks like Luce clipping service will be hard pressed to pay attention when sending out the clips.
-Jonathan P. Highbrow, Esq.

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