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Marcel Proust on Art and Literature


Beginning with the remarkable essay "Contre Saint-Beuve," this surprising and stimulating critical collection presents Proust's views on the contemporary writing of his era, on painting and painters, and on such literary masters of the nineteenth century as Tolstoy, Goethe, and Stendhal.
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Beginning with the remarkable essay "Contre Saint-Beuve," this surprising and stimulating critical collection presents Proust's views on the contemporary writing of his era, on painting and painters, and on such literary masters of the nineteenth century as Tolstoy, Goethe, and Stendhal.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786704545
  • Publisher: Perseus Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/28/1997
  • Edition description: Subsequent
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 420
  • Product dimensions: 0.86 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Marcel Proust
Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust was a French novelist, essayist and critic, best known as the author of À la recherche du temps perdu (in English, In Search of Lost Time; earlier translated as Remembrance of Things Past), a monumental work of 20th-century fiction published in seven parts from 1913 to 1927.


Born to a wealthy family, iconic French writer Marcel Proust (1871-1922) studied law and literature. His social connections allowed him to become an observant habitué of the most exclusive drawing rooms of the nobility, and he wrote social pieces for Parisian journals. He published essays and stories, including the story collection Pleasures and Days (1896). He had suffered from asthma since childhood, and c. 1897 he began to disengage from social life as his health declined.

Half-Jewish himself, he became a major supporter of Alfred Dreyfus in the affair that made French anti-Semitism into a national issue. Deeply affected by his mother's death in 1905, he withdrew further from society. An incident of involuntary revival of childhood memory in 1909 led him to retire almost totally into an eccentric seclusion in his cork-lined bedroom to write À la recherche du temps perdu (in English: In Search of Lost Time or Remembrance of Things Past ). Published between 1913 and 1927, the vast seven-part novel is at once a kind of autobiography, a vast social panorama of France in the years just before and during World War I, and an immense meditation on love and jealousy and on art and its relation to reality. One of the supreme achievements in fiction of all time, it brought him worldwide fame and affected the entire climate of the 20th-century novel. Biography from Encyclopedia Britannica

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    1. Date of Birth:
      July 10, 1871
    2. Place of Birth:
      Auteuil, near Paris, France
    1. Date of Death:
      November 18, 1922
    2. Place of Death:
      Paris, France

Table of Contents

Acknowledgment 7
Translator's preface 9
Prologue 19
In slumbers 27
Bedrooms 33
The days 39
The Countess 51
The article in Le Figaro 59
The sunbeam on the balcony 70
Talking to Mamma 83
The method of Sainte-Beuve 94
Saint-Beuve and Baudelaire 120
Gerard de Nerval 144
Sainte-Beuve and Balzac 157
Monsieur de Guermantes's Balzac 190
A race accursed 210
Names 230
The return 248
The return to the present 265
Against the young writers of the day 279
On taste 281
A history of French satire 283
A Sunday concert at the Conservatoire 288
Patriotism and the Christian Spirit 292
On La Bonne Helene 294
Portrait of a writer 298
Poet and novelist 302
The wane of inspiration 305
The artist in contemplation 307
The creed of art 314
Watteau 319
Chardin 323
Rembrandt 337
Gustave Moreau 345
Monet 356
Goethe 363
Chateaubriand 367
Joubert 371
Notes on Stendhal 373
George Eliot 376
Tolstoi 378
Dostoievski 380
Jules Renard 382
Robert de Montesquiou 384
Henri de Regnier 393
Leon Daudet 395
Translator's note 399
Notes 400
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