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The Collected Poems: A Dual-Language Edition with Parallel Text (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)


For the centennial of Swann's Way: the most complete volume of Proust's poetry ever assembled, in a gorgeous deluxe edition
As a young man, Proust wrote both poetry and prose. Even after he embarked on his masterful In Search of Lost Time at the age of thirty-eight, he never stopped writing poetry. His verse is often playful, filled with affection and satire, and is peppered with witty barbs at friends ...

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For the centennial of Swann's Way: the most complete volume of Proust's poetry ever assembled, in a gorgeous deluxe edition
As a young man, Proust wrote both poetry and prose. Even after he embarked on his masterful In Search of Lost Time at the age of thirty-eight, he never stopped writing poetry. His verse is often playful, filled with affection and satire, and is peppered with witty barbs at friends and people in his social circle of aristocrats, writers, musicians, and courtesans.
            Few of the poems collected here under the editorship of Harold Augenbraum, founder of the Proust Society of America, have ever been published in book form or translated into English until now. In this dual-language edition of new translations, Augenbraum has brought together nineteen renowned poets and poetry translators to bring Proust's exuberant verse back to life.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Even passionate readers of Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past may not know that the master also wrote verse. Left in manuscripts, enclosed in letters, or published along with his earliest prose, these 104 poems were not collected in their original French until 1982, and most appear here in English (with French en face) for the first time. The earliest, from the 1880s and 1890s, are florid, delightfully shocking declarations of same-sex lust; the latest, addressed to friends and confidantes (including Proust’s housekeeper Celeste Albaret), speak of the webs of shared tastes and crying emotional needs that also connect the characters of the novel. Yet Proust was not a poet by vocation: his later poems seem confined to their occasions, or awkwardly put in their earnest translations: “Tonight I feel that one longs to slumber./ Yet—my dear friend—Louisa’s a hot number.” Others are clearly fragments, or poke fun at now-obscure targets, or depend entirely on alert editors’ annotations, packed as they are with proper nouns: “O you who know the Virgin of Avila,/ Reynaldo Hahn!! better than... than... than the milk of Mamilla!” Augenbraum offers a clear introduction and notes, while eminent Americans (Lydia Davis, Wayne Koestenbaum, Rosanna Warren) contribute translations. Richard Howard does an especially stellar job with Proust’s tributes to painters, his most serious freestanding poems: in “Antoine Watteau,” “What’s vague is tender now, what’s near, remote.” The volume deserves attention because it shows a nearly unknown side of Proust, though it may seem like grace notes amid the symphonic greatness of Proust’s prose work. (Apr.)
Library Journal
This year is the sesquicentennial of Swann’s Way, the first volume of Proust’s epic (and extraordinarily lengthy) novel, In Search of Lost Time. To help commemorate the occasion, Penguin has gathered up all of the novelist’s poems—sonnets, snippets, and lengthier verse—into this handsome collection. With translations by Lydia Davis (who translated Swann’s Way for Viking in 2003 to great acclaim) and poets Richard Howard, Susan Stewart, and Rosanna Warren, among others, this collection of just over 100 poems (with French on facing pages) leans in a more romantic, more traditional direction than his gargantuan modernist novel. In his introduction, translator Harold Augenbraum says that, for Proust, “writing poetry was akin to taking a busman’s holiday from literature,” and his poems are certainly more immediate than his obsessively revised fiction. An essential title for Proust completists.

(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143106906
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 3/26/2013
  • Series: Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition Series
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 799,475
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Marcel Proust (1871–1922) spent his twenties as a conspicuous society figure, but after 1907 he rarely emerged from a cork-lined room in his apartment where he devoted himself to the composition of In Search of Lost Time.
Harold Augenbraum is the executive director of the National Book Foundation and founder of the Proust Society of America, and he has previously translated José Rizal and Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca for Penguin Classics. He lives in New York City.


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

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