Proust's English

Overview

English is the 'second language' of A la recherche du temps perdu. Although much has been written about Proust's debt to English literature, especially Ruskin, Daniel Karlin is the first critic to focus on his knowledge of the language itself - on vocabulary, idiom, and etymology. He uncovers an 'English world' in Proust's work, a world whose social comedy and artistic values reveal surprising connections to some of the novel's central preoccupations with sexuality and art. ...
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Overview

English is the 'second language' of A la recherche du temps perdu. Although much has been written about Proust's debt to English literature, especially Ruskin, Daniel Karlin is the first critic to focus on his knowledge of the language itself - on vocabulary, idiom, and etymology. He uncovers an 'English world' in Proust's work, a world whose social comedy and artistic values reveal surprising connections to some of the novel's central preoccupations with sexuality and art.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Karlin (English, University Coll., London; coeditor, The Poems of Robert Browning) analyzes French novelist Marcel Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time) and the English vocabulary that exists in this literary masterpiece, revealing an English world therein. He describes such French high-society trends as Anglomanie ("an excessive admiration" for all things English), which contributed to the frequent use of English words and phrases by Proust and his characters. The etymological descriptions of French words introduced into the English lexicon and later reintroduced to the French as English words are very interesting. Karlin suggests that in Proust's work English exists as an intermediate language. He cites numerous passages to substantiate his theories, concluding that English is the "second language of the novel." An appendix that lists English words found in A la recherche rounds out the text. This valuable contribution to Proustian studies is highly recommended for academic libraries that support French literature and language studies.-Erica Swenson Danowitz, American Univ. Lib., Washington, DC Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

"This elegantly argued study explores the role of English words in À la Recherche du Temps Perdu, and of the Anglophilia they represent."--The New Yorker

"Karlin's book is more than a literary analysis of what the use of English reveals about the author and the characters in 'Remembrance'--it is a window into the cultural tension of 19th Century France."--Chicago Tribune

"This valuable contribution to Proustian studies is highly recommended.... The etymological descriptions of French words introduced into the English lexicon and later reintroduced to the French as English words are very interesting."--Library Journal

"Witty and urbane, Daniel Karlin has turned an unpromising, even unlikely subject into an unexpectedly intriguing view of Proust's masterpiece."--Times Literary Supplement

"This scrupulously learned but witty and playful book shows that the oddities of Anglo-Gallic attitudes gave a lasting theme to one of the world's finest comic writers.... As Daniel Karlin so shrewdly illustrates, [Proust] peppered the epic length of A la Recherche du Temps Perdu with Anglicisms, from 'cocktails' to 'five o'clock tea'; from 'tennis' to 'bridge'; from 'darling' to 'flirt'.... Karlin follows, in plenty of intriguing detail, the love-affairs and hate-affairs with English ways and words that bloomed in France a century ago."--The Independent

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199256891
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 12/21/2007
  • Pages: 242
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Karlin is Professor of English at University College London and University Professor at Boston University.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Proust's English World
i. Anglomanie ii. For what fault have you most toleration?
iii. 'Je ne prétends pas savoir l'anglais.'
iv. 'I do not speak french'
v. Le livre des snobs
Chapter 2: Swann and Odette
i. Enter Swann(s)
ii. 'La dame en rose'
iii. Odette's smarts iv. Odette orchidophile, Odette orchidée v. Odette en fleurs vi. Swann's way with words vii. 'C'est bien ce qu'on appelle un gentleman?'
viii. L'israélite du Jockey ix. 'D'origine anglaise'
Chapter 3: Choses Normandes
i. Balbec as found ii. Le Grand-Hôtel de Balbec-Cabourg iii. Le sport iv. The painter of modern life
Chapter 4: Les Mots retrouvés
i. Un englische; un English ii. Du pur vocabulaire iii. Qu'est-ce que l'Anglais?
iv. Etymology and deformation v. Un arriviste digne de louange
Appendix: The location of English words and phrases in À la recherche du temps perdu

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