Reading Ruminations

[Saturday Reads] Proust and the Provocations of the Written Word


Myra here.

Every Saturday we hope to share with you our thoughts on reading and books. We thought that it would be good practice to reflect on our reading lives and our thoughts about reading in general. While on occasion, we would feature a few books in keeping with this, there would be a few posts where we will just write about our thoughts on read-alouds, libraries, reading journals, upcoming literary conferences, books that we are excited about, and just booklove miscellany in general.

Proust Ruskin

My journey as a reader and as an academic has seamlessly brought me to reading about reading. There is nothing that energizes me more than this. As I was going through this lovely book (on occasion difficult, but largely pleasurable), there are several key points that I highlighted because I wanted to share them with you fellow bibliophiles and wanted to know what you think about it. Next week, I shall share a few by Ruskin. But for now, here are a few by Marcel Proust:


One of my research studies involve looking into a few teachers’ literary autobiographies, which also prompted me to reflect on mine. Reading this passage reminded me of childhood reading and its sorcery. Adrienne Gear of ReadingPowerGear has written a lovely post about this as she revisited her childhood friends in her Monday reading.


I especially loved the lines about Provocations: “We can feel that our wisdom begins where the author’s ends, and we want him to give us answers when all he can do is give us desires.” and the last few words: “Bring us with you.”

How about you, dear friends, what is your literary autobiography like? What are some of your childhood reading companions? What are some of the provocations of the written word that you simply could not resist?

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

2 comments on “[Saturday Reads] Proust and the Provocations of the Written Word

  1. Myra – what a lovely surprise to discover that you had shared my post on your blog! This is a huge compliment as I admire your work so much and love how much literature you share every week! It is an honor to be mentioned! What an interesting study – looking at literature that shaped us – fascinating! Here is the link that will take your readers directly to the post you are referencing – otherwise they will have to scroll down a LOT!

    Thank you, Myra! Have a wonderful week!


  2. Pingback: The Ultimate Mystery of Love and Memory in Proust’s “In Search of Lost Time: Swann’s Way” – A Graphic Novel Adaptation | Gathering Books

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