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Home > Catalog > The Cambridge Introduction to Marcel Proust
The Cambridge Introduction to Marcel Proust


  • Page extent: 154 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.26 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521734325)

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$19.99 (P)

Proust's 'A la recherche du temps perdu' ('In Search of Lost Time', 1913─27) changed the course of modern narrative fiction. This Introduction provides an account of Proust's life, the socio-historical and cultural contexts of his work and an assessment of his early works. At its core is a volume-by-volume study of 'In Search of Lost Time', which attends to its remarkable superstructure, as well as to individual images and the intricacies of Proust's finely-stitched prose. The book reaches beyond stale commonplaces of madeleines and memory, alerting readers to Proust's verbal virtuosity, his preoccupations with the fleeting and the unforeseeable, with desire, jealousy and the nature of reality. Lively, informative chapters on Proust criticism and the work's afterlives in contemporary culture provide a multitude of paths to follow. The book charges readers with the energy and confidence to move beyond anecdote and hearsay and to read Proust's novel for themselves.


Introduction; 1. Life; 2. Contexts; 3. Early works and late essays; 4. In Search of Lost Time; 5. Proust criticism; Epilogue: Proustian afterlives; Further reading.


Setting a course away from the reductive image of Proust as the reclusive hypochondriac hidden in his cork-lined room, Watt creates a successful guidebook for new and hesitant readers of the Recherche. In particular, Watt provides a preview of, and a map leading to, the many “pay-offs” one is likely to receive from their investment of time and effort in the three thousand pages of a novel whose first sentence--“Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure” [For a long time I would go to bed early]--is perhaps not the most promising in the history of literature....The Cambridge Introduction to Marcel Proust is organized intuitively and with the intention of easing a first-time reader into the complexities of a decidedly difficult text....a pertinent and useful text."
-Hervé G. Picherit, University of Wyoming, H-France Review Vol. 12 (March 2012), No. 36

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