Absurdity – does this relate to life as we know it today or has it always related to life as it is and always has been?
Foley, in amongst doing an analysis of James Joyce and Marcel Proust’s greatest works – sometimes manages to get the message across that life is absurd and always has been.
Using the mediums of Proust and Joyce he does a comparative essay on what was and is considered to be relevant then and now ,eventually coming to the conclusion that life is all about the ordinary things that go into making up a day.
The difference being, that it is how you go about dealing with the ordinary that makes the difference. In Joyce and Proust’s fashion they took the ordinary and gave it a great shake, writing what was to be literary prose to be studies by generations of university students trying to make some sort of sense out of why they were undertaking a particular course of study requiring having to read such truly ironic, or should one say, iconic pieces of literature!
Proust and Joyce literally took societies strictures,shoved them in the face of convention and totally enjoyed doing it. Although they never met, never spoke a word and wrote in totally different societies, their works run parallel to each other’s – holding up the absurd in society for closer inspection and challenging preconceived concepts thereby changing the way people accepted their everyday lot in life!
All-be-it a book full of words, amongst the words are some truly fascinating looks at the often unspoken “mores” of every society: Greed, snobbery, love – true or otherwise-, homosexuality, pleasure and pure and simple banality.
In Embracing the ordinary you can take a walk on the everyday side of life, enjoy the absurdity along with the comparisons of times gone by and as Foley would perhaps suggest “Get over it”
|Publisher||Simon & Schuster|