'In Search of Lost Time: Proust 6-pack'
By Marcel Proust (Author)
On the surface a traditional "Bildungsroman" describing the narrator’s journey of self-discovery, this huge and complex book is also a panoramic and richly comic portrait of France in the author’s lifetime, and a profound meditation on the nature of art, love, time, memory and death. But for most readers it is the characters of the novel who loom the largest: Swann and Odette, Monsieur de Charlus, Morel, the Duchesse de Guermantes, Françoise, Saint-Loup and so many others — Giants, as the author calls them, immersed in Time.
In Search of Lost Time is a novel in seven volumes. The novel began to take shape in 1909. Proust continued to work on it until his final illness in the autumn of 1922 forced him to break off. Proust established the structure early on, but even after volumes were initially finished he kept adding new material, and edited one volume after another for publication. The last three of the seven volumes contain oversights and fragmentary or unpolished passages as they existed in draft form at the death of the author; the publication of these parts was overseen by his brother Robert.
“Twice amended to bring it to documentary decorum and the kind of textual completion Proust himself could never achieve, the C. K. Scott Moncrieff translation of the Search, buffed, rebuffed, lightened, tightened, and in the abstergent sense, brightened, constitutes a monument which is also a medium--the medium by which to gain access to the book, the books, even the apocrypha of modern scripture. A triumph of tone, of a single (and singular) vision, this ultimate revision of the primary version affords the surest sled over the ice fields as well as the most sinuous surfboard over the breakers of Proustian prose, an invaluable and inescapable text.”
'‘In Search of Lost Time’ is widely recognized as the major novel of the twentieth century.'
'At once the last great classic of French epic prose tradition and the towering precursor of the 'nouveau roman’.'
'Proust so titillates my own desire for expression that I can hardly set out the sentence. Oh if I could write like that!'
(Virginia Woolf )
'The greatest fiction to date.'
(W. Somerset Maugham)
'Proust is the greatest novelist of the 20th century.'
(Graham Greene )
French novelist, best known for his 3000 page masterpiece À la recherche du temps perdu(Remembrance of Things Past or In Search of Lost Time), a pseudo-autobiographical novel told mostly in a stream-of-consciousness style. Born in the first year of the Third Republic, the young Marcel, like his narrator, was a delicate child from a bourgeois family. He was active in Parisian high society during the 80s and 90s, welcomed in the most fashionable and exclusive salons of his day. However, his position there was also one of an outsider, due to his Jewishness and homosexuality. Towards the end of 1890s Proust began to withdraw more and more from society, and although he was never entirely reclusive, as is sometimes made out, he lapsed more completely into his lifelong tendency to sleep during the day and work at night. He was also plagued with severe asthma, which had troubled him intermittently since childhood, and a terror of his own death, especially in case it should come before his novel had been completed. The first volume, after some difficulty finding a publisher, came out in 1913, and Proust continued to work with an almost inhuman dedication on his masterpiece right up until his death in 1922, at the age of 51. Today he is widely recognised as one of the greatest authors of the 20th Century, and À la recherche du temps perdu as one of the most dazzling and significant works of literature to be written in modern times.