Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Top ten smelly books

In 2006 Lara Feigel, a Lecturer at King's College London and author of A Nosegay: A Literary Journey from the Fragrant to the Fetid, named her top 10 smelly books for the Guardian.

Number One on the list:
Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust

Still the last word in smell literature. Not only does he render a plethora of particular smells (hawthorns in bloom, petrol, the perfume of a beautiful woman), he also makes a convincing case for smell as the most evocative and memorable of human senses: "'When from a long-distant past nothing subsists, after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered, taste and smell alone, more fragile but more enduring, more immaterial, more persistent, more faithful, remain poised a long time, like souls." Don't be scared by the size of Proust's tome: start with volume one and you won't look back.
Read about all ten books on Feigel's list.

--Marshal Zeringue