Marcel Proust: The Ark and the Dove

Marcel Proust: The Ark and the Dove

by Patricia Mante-Proust, Mireille Naturel
     
 

Through the exclusive documents that Patricia Mante-Proust inherited, she revisits her rich family history in images and anecdotes
 
This first publication of a collection of original Proustian treasures includes numerous documents from the family's collection in the National Archives and items found in the drawers of Aunt Léonie's

Overview


Through the exclusive documents that Patricia Mante-Proust inherited, she revisits her rich family history in images and anecdotes
 
This first publication of a collection of original Proustian treasures includes numerous documents from the family's collection in the National Archives and items found in the drawers of Aunt Léonie's famous house in Illiers-Combray, as well as correspondence, rare and unpublished manuscripts, and memories rediscovered in the places that Proust frequented and loved. Its purpose is to celebrate a life and an era that, through the magic of an inimitable style, will live for eternity. For a long time I used to go to bed early is probably one of the most famous quotations from French literature, the very first words of an epic structure compared by its author to a cathedral. In the case of Remembrance of Things Past it is impossible to distinguish between the author and the work. No writer has ever pushed introspection and remembrance to such a level. Through his prodigious quest for the flavor of the little madeleine cake, he has acquired an almost mystical aura for generations of readers throughout the world. Proust has often been described as feverish, excessively shy, a recluse in his cork-lined room; yet, between visions and real-life experiences, who was Marcel Proust in reality? Could the famous Questionnaire that he compiled and answered and that bears his name shed any light on this enigma?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Edited by Proust’s great-grand-niece, the keeper of his estate, this homage to the life and work of the literary giant is a handsome treasury of family photographs, manuscripts, letters, notes, and other documents from family collections and national archives, many previously unpublished, with transcriptions provided in English. Reproduced here, for example, is the questionnaire the author answered at age 13, which was evidently a harbinger of his future aspirations: “Where would you like to live? In the land of the ideal, or rather my ideal.” Along with more recent photographs, select excerpts, and biographical text by Naturel (Proust and the Literary Act: Receiving and Creating), the book explores, if reductively, the people and settings fictionalized in Remembrance of Things Past (or In Search of Lost Time), and other writings. For example, pictured here is the venerable 15th-century church of Saint-Jacques, which became the beloved Saint-Hilaire in Search. Proust still has a mystifying presence in these glossy photographs, from the emaciated student among his more sturdy classmates, to, conversely, the spirited dandy suavely posing for photographer Otto. Arriving on the heels of the centennial of Swann’s Way, this is an accessible volume of memorable pictures, words, and other odds and ends. 350 photos and illus. (Apr.)
From the Publisher

"The thing about Proust is his combination of the utmost sensibility with the utmost tenacity. He searches out these butterfly shades to the last grain. He is as tough as catgut and as evanescent as a butterfly's bloom. And he will I suppose both influence me and make me out of temper with every sentence of my own."  —Virginia Woolf

"This is an accessible volume of memorable pictures, words, and other odds and ends." — Publishers Weekly

"An enchanting, informative, and beautiful book in which both the elusive author and the resounding themes of his body of work come alive."  —Library Journal

"An essential book for all Proust admirers, worth hours of reading and browsing." —RadioProust.com

Library Journal
In this handsome volume, Marcel Proust's great-grand-niece and "keeper of his estate," and Naturel (secretary, Society of Friends of Marcel Proust; Proust and Flaubert) have created an enchanting, informative, and beautiful book in which both the elusive author and the resounding themes of his body of work come alive. Rare, illuminating documents from Proust's life are paired with vivid photographs of the author and his family and friends. The items became available when Mante-Proust inherited them; many are now on view at the Marcel Proust Museum in Illiers-Combray, France. Naturel's insightful text is paired with relevant excerpts from Proust's writings. She uncovers many of the inspirations for Proust's characters and paints an in-depth portrait of his family members and personal excursions. VERDICT Avid re-readers of the never-ending novel will find that this detailed book is perhaps best savored while munching a madeleine over tea.—Lara Jacobs, Brooklyn, NY

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9783283012182
Publisher:
Olms, Georg Verlag AG
Publication date:
04/01/2013
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
11.40(w) x 13.30(h) x 1.00(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"The thing about Proust is his combination of the utmost sensibility with the utmost tenacity. He searches out these butterfly shades to the last grain. He is as tough as catgut and as evanescent as a butterfly's bloom. And he will I suppose both influence me and make me out of temper with every sentence of my own."  —Virginia Woolf

"This is an accessible volume of memorable pictures, words, and other odds and ends." — Publishers Weekly

Meet the Author


Patricia Mante-Proust is the great-grand-niece of the writer and the keeper of his estate. Mireille Naturel is the general secretary of The Society of Friends of Marcel Proust. She is the author of Proust and Flaubert: the Secret of Writing and Proust and the Literary Act: Receiving and Creating, the editor of How Proust is Received Abroad and Correspondence and Manuscripts, and she produced the critical edition of Swann in Love for Flammarion.

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