The Cambridge Companion to Proust (Cambridge Companions to Literature) Paperback – 14 Jun 2001
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'We are provided with a series of closely analysed descriptions, full of allusive and alliterative phrases with a music of their own.' Modern Language Review
The Cambridge Companion to Proust, first published in 2001, aims to provide a broad account of the major features of Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu. Progressing from background and biographical material, the chapters investigate such essential areas as the composition of the novel, its social dimension, its intellectual parameters and its humour.
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The volume is apt to be of less value to Proust scholars, or even serious readers who have read the biographies by either Carter or Tadie, or the critical works of Roger Shattuck, or others (both Carter and Shattuck have essays in this volume). The best essays in the collection tend to be those that are more introductory in nature. The weaker essays tend to be those that are more specialized and focused on specific issues in Proust.
Overall, however, I encourage anyone needing an introductory work on Proust to consider spending some time working through the essays in this book.
However, there are a few, as can be expected in this type of book, that suffer from an overload of academia. The novel is easier to read and understand than some of these essays.
The book has the perfect title though as it is an exceptional companion to the understanding and enjoyment of A la recherche du temps perdu.
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