Marcel Proust (1871–1922) spent fourteen years creating In Search of Lost Time, his seven-volume magnum opus. He died when it was only half in print, unable to see it become one of the most important literary works of the twentieth century. Over eighty years later, the work still garners extraordinary levels of critical attention, and Proust’s habits, health, and sexual preferences still keep commentators and fans occupied. In this concise biography, Adam Watt explores the life of a writer whose every experience was stored, dissected, and redeployed within a vast fictional work. After considering Proust’s earlier years of personal and aesthetic experiment, Watt provides an engaging account of two intertwined processes taking place against the vibrant backdrop of Belle Époque Paris and World War I: the progress of In Search of Lost Time and the simultaneous decline of its author. He demonstrates how Proust’s own periods of ill health and isolation reflected his narrator’s thoughts on desire, love, and loss, as well as his contemplation of beauty, memory, aging, and the possibility of happiness. Drawing on the author’s immense correspondence, the accounts of his contemporaries, and the insights of recent scholarship, Marcel Proust offers a rewarding new portrait of the novelist once described as “the most complicated man in Paris.”
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
acquaintance Adrien Agostinelli Albaret Albertine Anna de Noailles Antoine Bibesco artistic asthma August Auteuil beauty Bibesco Bizet Blanche boulevard Haussmann brother Budding Grove Cabourg Céleste Combray Condorcet Corr correspondence critical death December early essay eyes father Fénelon Fernand Gregh fictional Figaro final France France’s French Gallimard Gaston Gaston de Caillavet Gide grandmother Grasset Guermantes Hahn Hahn’s Halévy Illiers intellectual Jacques January Jeanne late later Le Figaro Légion d’Honneur letter literary Louis Lucien Daudet lycée Marcel Proust mind Mme Proust Mme Straus months mother Nahmias narrator narrator’s notes October ofA la recherche ofhis ofthis painter parents Paris pastiches Pleasures and Days Professor Proust proofs Proust wrote Proust’s novel publication published readers remained Revue Reynaldo Rochat Ruskin Sainte-Beuve salon scene seems September Sodom and Gomorrah suffering Swann’s Tadié temps perdu translation trip typescript Venice volume writing young