This is not a deep study on the great French writer's work, nor is it meant to be. However, it is a slim, fascinating and surprisingly penetrating insight into the life and writing of Proust. This tale is consciously told from White's perspective touching on issues and aspects about Proust's life he is interested in. This includes the way the world perceives Proust & interprets his work, how his homosexual status effected his work and public persona, the interaction between his writing & life and citing the most interesting work that has been done preceding Proust's life. It follows the basic time line of Proust's life and is related in a gossipy though highly intelligent fashion. The most interesting aspect of the book is the way it examines the way he is able to historically place the opinion of homosexuality at the time with other writers and the politics of the time and explain how it effected Proust's life. It relates how his life was really guided by a need for love and approval and how this was reflected in his relationships with his mother & lovers and filtered into his writing. The border between fictionalization and wishful thinking is finely tread in Proust's work because of this. White also gives an interesting insight into the way Proust worked as a craftsman playing with and mixing the genres of novel and the essay. Though this book touches on many interesting academic issues such as this, it is a very entertaining read and can be read easily by anyone who is a large fan of Proust's work or a complete novice. It is admirable White is able to touch on aspects of the writer's life that have not be ever deeply explored before.
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