Proust's Englishby Daniel Karlin
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 itselfon vocabulary, idiom, and etymology. He uncovers an "English world" in Proust's work, a world whose
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 itselfon 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. Anglomaniethe fashion for all things Englishhas been as powerful a presence in French culture as hostility to perfide Albion; Proust was both subject to its influence, and a brilliant critic of its excesses. French resistance to imported English words remains fierce to this day; but Proust's attitude to this most contentious aspect of Anglo-French relations was marked by his rejection of concepts of national and racial "purity," and his profound understanding of the necessary "impurity" of artistic creation.
"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
- OUP Oxford
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- 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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