Proust's Latin Americans

Proust's Latin Americans

by Rubén Gallo
     
 

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Part biography, part cultural history, part literary study, Rubén Gallo's book explores the presence of Latin America in Proust's life and work. The novelist lived in an era shaped by French colonial expansion into the Americas: just before his birth, Napoleon III installed Maximilian as emperor of Mexico, and during the 1890s France was shaken by the

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Overview

Part biography, part cultural history, part literary study, Rubén Gallo's book explores the presence of Latin America in Proust's life and work. The novelist lived in an era shaped by French colonial expansion into the Americas: just before his birth, Napoleon III installed Maximilian as emperor of Mexico, and during the 1890s France was shaken by the Panama Affair, a financial scandal linked to the construction of the canal in which thousands of French citizens lost their life savings.

It was in the context of these tense Franco–Latin American relations that the novelist met the circle of friends discussed in Proust's Latin Americans: the composer Reynaldo Hahn, Proust’s Venezuelan lover; Gabriel de Yturri, an Argentinean dandy; José-Maria de Heredia, a Cuban poet and early literary model; Antonio de La Gandara, a Mexican society painter; and Ramon Fernandez, a brilliant Mexican critic turned Nazi sympathizer.

Gallo discusses the correspondence—some of it never before published—between the novelist and this heterogeneous group and also presents insightful readings of In Search of Lost Time that posit Latin America as the novel’s political unconscious. Proust’s speculation with Mexican stocks informed his various fictional passages devoted to financial transactions, and the Panama Affair shaped his understanding of the conquest of America in a little-known early text.

Proust's Latin Americans will be of interest to scholars of modernism, French literature, Proust studies, gender studies, and Latin American studies.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Choice

Gallo has produced a unique, eloquent, and gratifying study of four Latin Americans who influenced Proust's life... Highly recommended.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781421413457
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
07/17/2014
Series:
Hopkins Studies in Modernism
Pages:
280
Sales rank:
1,437,929
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Leo Bersani

Extremely lucid and well written, replete with interesting and often amusing social history. Most important, it is an original addition to Proustian studies, and Gallo will surely be recognized as having made a significant contribution to French cultural history.

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