Translated by Josephine Bacon
192 pp with approx. 350 photos and illustrations.
Hardcover in folio-size 28 × 33 cm
“For a long time I used to go to bed early”: possibly the most famous opening line in the French language and the first words of a masterly work whose author himself would even compare to a cathedral. In Search of Lost Time, the work of a man: Marcel Proust, the man of the work. Never before had a writer taken introspection and the workings of memory to such a level, and in the course of this prodigious quest brought a quasi-mystical aura to the taste of the humble Madeleine for generations of readers around the world.
A work of keys, famously obscure – that famous Proustian phrase – and yet overflowing with fantasies, In Search of Lost Time gives us an invitation to penetrate the mysteries and secrets of its author. He is often described as a nervous, painfully shy individual, hiding away in his cork-lined bedroom; but between his fantasies and his real life experiences, who was the real Marcel Proust? And what can we learn from the famous Questionnaire to which he replied and which now carries his name?
Containing many photographs, manuscripts and other unique documents, some of them never before published, this book – the first of its kind about this literary genius – celebrates the life and an era that have become timeless through the magic of the author’s unique style.
Patricia Mante-Proust, 35, is the great-grandniece of the writer and keeper of his estate. Through the exclusive documents that she inherited she revisits her rich family history in images and anecdotes.
Mireille Naturel is a lecturer at the University of Paris III -Sorbonne nouvelle. After completing her thesis on Proustian style she worked in various posts abroad. She wrote Pour la littérature (CLE international-Nathan, 1995), Proust et Flaubert: un secret d’écriture (Rodopi, Amsterdam / Atlanta, 1999), and the introduction to the 2002 Flammarion edition of Un amour de Swann. She has been the general secretary of the Société des Amis de Marcel Proust [Society of the Friends of Marcel Proust]. In January 2000, as head of the International Marcel Proust Institute, she organized the conference ‘La réception de Proust à l’étranger’ at the French National Library.