Perhaps I am missing something that Julia, my editor, sees. Perhaps all wil be clearer later in the book, or will I miss the point altogether?
I will admit certain traits,; we do have in common, but, even taking the time he lived in, his obsession with his mother makes Oedipus look like a sex-maniac.
There is family love-most people love their mothers-this is natural.
There is the Oedipus complex-where a man falls in love with his mother.
But, Marcel takes things to a new level, he appears to need or crave his mother's permission for even the smallest tasks; in recent pages, he went on holiday and found the servant hadn't packed sponges-he wrote to his mother asking if he should buy some.
There is no doubt of his decadent behaviour, as he writes daily to his mother, telling her every tiny detail of what his day was like, and this from a man who was in the Army. I wrote to my parents once a week, at most and only if I had something to tell them, they would be bored to tears to have had a letter every day explaining what I had done.
The more I read about him, the harder I find it to reconcile the man in the book with the man who wrote what is considered one of the greatest works of modern fiction, as he appears to require maternal consent for everything.
Perhaps, in the end I will understand, or perhaps not. The author of the biography may have intended to write an interesting intellectual study of a complex man, but I am getting bogged down with pages of him telling us that M. Proust wrote to his mother about this, that and the other; we gathered that fact in the early pages.
As much as I want to read the book, I am getting to the point where the same story repeats every few pages and it's getting beyond tedious.