I read this too quickly and now I remember little about it; if only I had constructed a memory palace to put some of its passages in! Foer's immersive attempt at becoming a memory champion is an absorbing read, and offers an interesting take on how we get to remembering things; it's a good counterpoint to the Proust I've been reading, which expounds on memory and its trappings in a much freer flowing, more discursive way.
The only true voyage, the only bath in the Fountain of Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to see the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to see the hundred universes that each of them sees, that each of them is ...
It is in this volume, of course, that the Narrator's grandmother perishes, and so we spend much time meditating on the pitfalls of living in the skin we're in:
It is in sickness that we are compelled to recognize that we do not live alone but are chained to a being from a different realm, from whom we are worlds apart, who has no knowledge of us and by whom it is impossible to make ourselves understood: our body.
Another important theme is the Narrator's evolving appreciation of art, and by extension his maturation as a person:
To succeed thus in gaining recognition, the original painter or the original writer proceeds on the lines of the oculist. The course of treatment they give us by their painting or by their prose is not always pleasant. When it is at an end the practitioner says to us: ‘Now look!’ And, lo and behold, the world around us (which was not created once and for all, but is created afresh as often as an original artist is born) appears to us entirely different from the old world, but perfectly clear.
Halfway through In Search of Lost Time , now; onward, onward!