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A Year of Reading Proust [Paperback]

Phyllis Rose
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Jan 1998
A YEAR OF READING PROUST is literary criticism, love story, travel essay, biography, personal history, mid-life accounting, mother-daughter story, and essay on the literary life all in one. Starting with a brilliant description of what it feels like to read Proust, Rose moves to an account of her daily life, written with panache, and loving intelligence, which the reading of Proust inspired. Set largely in New York City and Key West, Florida, it gives dazzling glimpses of the lifestyles of the talented and famous. A completely orginal book, an exhilarating literary experience, it invites comparison with autobiographical classics like THE LOVEABLE FEAST and THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF ALICE B. TOKLAS and will do for a generation of American writers what those books did for an earlier generation.

Product details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (1 Jan 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099779412
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099779414
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.8 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,023,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Phyllis Rose's books include Woman of Letters: A Life of Virginia Woolf, the highly acclaimed Parallel Lives: Five Victorian Marriages, which established her as a biographer of the first rank, and Jazz Cleopatra, a biography of Josephine Baker. She has been on the faculty of Wesleyan University since 1969. She lives in Middletown, Connecticut, New York City, and Key West, Florida.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it but . . 15 Feb 2006
By A Customer
Actually, that's wrong. I enjoyed it immensely. However, there were one or two bits that I found annoying. Why call the bibliography "Recommended Reading" as if the readers are still in school and need advice? I also found the way that famous names -- Salman Rushdie, Edmund White -- and old Joe Bloggs (sorry, I can't remember the exact names) from down the road got exactly the same treatment -- democratic and PC to a fault, I grant you, but the amount of time I invested in trying to work out if I should have heard of "Joe" was SO irritating.
But the main thing, which left a somewhat nasty taste, was the author's seeming inability to really tell us about what happened when she had an affair with a married man in France (the husband of a friend) and her role in the break-up of his marriage. We're told about the advice from a friend -- that if you meet the man of your dreams and he is "the one", go for it, whatever the cost -- as if that gave her right to do anything, including giving him an ultimatum that if he didn't leave his wife and follow her to the US she would never see him again. We're told she felt anger towards the rival whose life she was destroying. And later, when she finally meets her new brother-in-law and she tells him how much she has suffered and he forgives her, she is outraged to find that she is thought of as a person who needs to be forgiven! Where's the analysis, where's the self-knowledge? This may be carping about an otherwise fascinating book, but I felt this destroyed somewhat the reason for, and lessons learned, from reading Proust in the first place
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than I thought! 8 Nov 2002
By A Customer
I have always shied away from reading anything as 'difficult' as Proust so I wasn't exactly thrilled by the prospect of digesting him second hand in this book. But I it up anyway and found it quite fascinating. The author really captures the daze of an avid reader. She is so much under the spell of Proust that she starts to see his wisdom in everything around her (extremely un-Proustian) lifestyle. The novel is a great insight into the working of both writers' minds.
Rose has almost inspired me to give Proust a try...
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