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Marcel Proust: A Biography (Peregrine books) Paperback – 26 May 1983

5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (26 May 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140065121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140065121
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 427,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Painter's classic biography may now have others to measure up against but it is still the most elegant and perceptive of the bunch.

Mind you, if you are wanting a short, sharp introduction to Proust then you might need to look elsewhere.

Painter's exhaustive account of Proust's life is very detailed and not for the faint-hearted. Having said that, it is absolutely fascinating and reveals the workings of this remarkable novelist's complex brain.

To my mind this is still the best biography of Marcel Proust and an absolute must for anyone seriously interested in one of the greatest novelists of all time.,
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Format: Paperback
Marcel Proust's classic work, was first translated into English by C.K. Scott Moncrieff, with a title, "Remembrance of Things Past," which is somewhat askew, from the literal translation of In Search of Lost Time: The Way by Swann's: The Way by Swann's Vol 1 (In Search of Lost Time 1) particularly from the passive in English to the active verb in French. It is one of the most praised and least read literary masterpieces. Least read for a reason: it is one of the longest works, at 3,000 plus pages, and furthermore, much of the book concerns the arcane machinations of social climbers in the Parisian literary salons; a scene that has largely changed, at least by dropping the royalty monikers from today's "power brokers." So, if you are not reading and commenting on the book to promote your academic career, what is the point?

As the current only other reviewer says, you have to be interested. And fortunately for me, there were those aspects of Proust's work that provided the hook. The other reviewer also said it is essential to have read some of Proust before tackling this biography, and I hardily agree. I've read "Swann's Way," only roughly a sixth of the overall work, but it provided sufficient motivation to read all of Painter's 700 pages on Proust, even enough to struggle through the machinations in those Parisian salons. There is no question that Painter has conducted meticulous research, and has combined that with fluid prose to present what will almost certainly be the most authoritative biography of Proust. He had sufficient distance from his subject, completing it in 1959, almost 40 years after Proust's death, and has provided one more preface to this edition, 30 years later.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
an excellent second-hand copy
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