From today’s “Metropolitan Diary” in the national edition of the NYT (apparently printed in NYC on the 16th). “Proust at the Morgan Library” by Tom Hughes:
The scene: the Morgan Library exhibition in honor of the 100th anniversary of Marcel Proust’s novel “Swann’s Way,” the first in his seven-volume series “In Search of Lost Time.” [aka "Remembrance of Things Past"]
The exhibition occupies the Thaw Gallery, an intimate space where you can’t help but overhear your neighbors’ conversations. A husband strides in excitedly, towing his wife, who appears a bit mystified.
Husband (staring intently at one of Proust’s manuscripts, written longhand in school composition books — clearly he is a fan): “This is amazing.”
Wife: “What’s the big deal with Proust again?”
Husband: “It’s a long story.”
Husband presumably meant that it’s a long story to explain what’s going on with Proust’s masterpiece. But then he could also be understood as saying that Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu is a long story, which indeed it is — a very long story indeed.