In The Mezzanine a young businessman reflects on objects as he goes about his lunch hour.
I read this book simultaneously with Swann's way. It was funny to read the narattors criticism of proust, and their description of the smell/nostalgia connection as being a sort of mental bug. The proust comments are also a hint that made me see how the book is pre-occupied with a modern form of nostalgia, one that takes the shifting and mass produced detritus of late stage capitalism as its locus.
We live in a world of objects which through their design, marketing, everday use, build a strong emotional resonance for us. A resonance that can't be shared, or ever recaptured by a later generation. These objects quietly refer define our society, our millieu, the way we lived for years and decades.
This book made me think of the museum der dinge in Berlin which collects mass produced objects. They are mostly inert to me. Oddities, tat, interesting precursors to the designs of today - but for an older generation this museum must induce nostalgia with far more potency than a madeline biscuit ever could.