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Proust on Art and Literature Paperback – August 5, 1997


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Proust on Art and Literature + Paintings in Proust: A Visual Companion to In Search of Lost Time + Marcel Proust's Search for Lost Time: A Reader's Guide to The Remembrance of Things Past
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Carroll & Graf; 2 edition (August 5, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786704543
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786704545
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French

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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A. Waggenspack on December 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
I'm going to assume that anyone interested in this book is already very familiar with, or has already read, A la reserche du temps perdu. If you have not, I would highly suggest you start with Proust's novel before moving along to insight on his thinking and/or writing. Truthfully, this book doesn't give away that much information about Proust the man, but contains a great deal on Proust the artist. Many of the essays contained within were published in the journals of the day, especially Le Figaro and La Revue Blanche, and are therefore written in a public style, carefully considered, analysing different topics from a mainly objective stance. In other words, this book documents less his private life and thoughts, which one may find in the many volumes of his correspondences, than his public, artistic life. This is worth mentioning because 'Contre Saint-Beauve' is one giant critique - an inadequate word - of the notion that an artist's biographical life is at all related to his artistic life.

'Contre Saint-Beauve' is an ethos that he developed several years earlier than his novel, though it plays a large part in the novel (and was not published until long after his death). This philosophy is partially explained in the later volumes of 'In Search Of Lost Time' when the narrator ruminates on Vinteuil's genius. Indeed, many of the characters and scenes in Proust's later novel find their early beginnings in a strange series of sketches that pop up throughout this essay. It was probably one of Proust's last stabbings at an academic or literary career, before he began his work on Swann's Way, but it proved to be very fertile ground.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Atom Joy on December 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fascinating read for anyone who enjoyed "A la recherche du temps perdu" and wants to delve deeper into Proust's work. The opening chapters of "Contre Sainte-Beuve" read like a dry run for "Du cote de chez Swann": many of the same subjects are explored but without the familiar narrator's voice from the novel. I'm not an expert on the accuracy of the translation but the English reads well while being recognizably Proustian. Recommended.
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