Vintage Books & Anchor Books
"There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favorite book."
–- Marcel Proust
普魯斯特 (Marcel Proust) 台北：貓頭鷹，2000
Proust and His World Hardcover – September 10, 1973
by William Sansom
This biography sheds light on the subtle means by which Marcel Proust transformed his own experiences and borrowed from those of his friends for his masterwork Remembrance of Things Past. B&W photos & illus. evoke the atmosphere of 19th- and early-20th-century Paris. By William Samson Proust and his World.
Chardin and Rembrandt
Translation by Jennie Feldman
17.70 x 10.70 cm
First published 2016
The New Yorker
This brief cameo is so far the only known film footage of Marcel Proust in existence.
Marcel Proust, Caught on Film
While trawling in a French film archive, a professor stumbled upon a clip from a 1904 wedding that contains the only known moving images of the great novelist.
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---2008.4.5 The World of Proust, as seen by Paul Nadar
See larger image
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: The MIT Press (November 1, 2002)
Nadar, Paul (1856-1939), French photographer, son of Félix Nadar, whose studio he inherited. Known for his inventive approach to photography, he became famous after collaborating with his father in interviewing the chemist Chevreul on his 100th birthday, 31 August 1886. Paul photographed Félix interviewing Chevreul, combining the photographs not only with transcriptions of the dialogue, but with a sound recording using Clément Ader's (1841-1925) phonophone. It was published in Le Journal illustré on 5 September 1886, with twelve photogravures corresponding to statements made by Chevreul.
In 1891 Nadar founded the journal Paris-Photographe, and in 1893 became the French representative of Eastman Kodak.
— Kelley E. Wilder
Auer, M., Paul Nadar, le premier interview photographique (1999)
Britannica Concise Encyclopedia: Marcel Proust
(click to enlarge)
Marcel Proust, oil painting by Jacques-Émile Blanche; in a private collection. (credit: Permission S.P.A.D.E.M. 1971 by French Reproduction Rights, Inc.; photograph J.E. Bulloz)
(born July 10, 1871, Auteuil, near Paris, France — died Nov. 18, 1922, Paris) French novelist. Born to a wealthy family, he studied law and literature. His social connections allowed him to become an observant habitué of the most exclusive drawing rooms of the nobility, and he wrote social pieces for Parisian journals. He published essays and stories, including the story collection Pleasures and Days (1896). He had suffered from asthma since childhood, and c. 1897 he began to disengage from social life as his health declined. Half-Jewish himself, he became a major supporter of Alfred Dreyfus in the affair that made French anti-Semitism into a national issue. Deeply affected by his mother's death in 1905, he withdrew further from society. An incident of involuntary revival of childhood memory in 1909 led him to retire almost totally into an eccentric seclusion in his cork-lined bedroom to write À la recherche du temps perdu (1913 – 27; In Search of Lost Time, or Remembrance of Things Past). The vast seven-part novel is at once a kind of autobiography, a vast social panorama of France in the years just before and during World War I, and an immense meditation on love and jealousy and on art and its relation to reality. One of the supreme achievements in fiction of all time, it brought him worldwide fame and affected the entire climate of the 20th-century novel.
For more information on Marcel Proust, visit Britannica.com.
French Literature Companion: Marcel Proust
Proust, Marcel (1871-1922). Regarded as the greatest 20th-c. French novelist, Proust owes his fame to one 3, 000-page novel, A la recherche du temps perdu, which he began in his late thirties and on which he continued to work until his death.
He was born into an upper-middle-class Parisian family of strong scientific and artistic interests; these interests were to mark both the subject-matter of his writing and the metaphors through which he would convey his picture of the mind. His father was an eminent physician, conversant with French psychology of the day, and his mother—with whom he had the more intense relationship—was cultured and witty. The letters exchanged between mother and son show the ambivalent intimacy that may have set a pattern for his susceptible and often unhappy sexual relationships. These were homosexual; Proust was to be the first major European novelist to describe in detail the comic and tragic aspects of being a gay in a prejudiced society.
Proust's mother was Jewish; he and his younger brother were brought up as Catholics. He no doubt grew up with an awareness of the diversity of religious and cultural traditions; this awareness is part of what gives A la recherche du temps perdu its breadth. The adult Proust seems to have been an atheist or agnostic (albeit one with a keen sense of awe and mystery); certainly his mature work shows, in religious and other areas, a scepticism by turns quizzical or delighted or anguished. Such scepticism has been part of the French literary tradition for centuries, but Proust was to foreground it in a particularly modern mode.
He was educated at the Lycée Condorcet in Paris, then studied law and philosophy; he was a voracious reader, but his scholastic career was some-what idiosyncratic, in part because of ill health (he was asthmatic from the age of 9). Of contemporary influences, he was perhaps most drawn to the philosophy of Bergson (to whom he was related by marriage). But to speak of this influence only would be to make far too narrow an assessment of a catholic taste that had absorbed not only the finest writings of 19th-c. France and England but also the classics of world literature, music, and painting. Direct references in all of Proust's writing (whether letters, articles, or fiction) show his detailed knowledge of, for example, Greek myth, medieval epic, George Eliot, Baudelaire; of plainsong and Bach; of the Italian Renaissance and Turner.
There has been a widely held picture of the young Proust as a dilettante—this in spite of a collection of short stories, ‘portraits’, and poems, brought out in his twenties (Les Plaisirs et les jours, 1896); the translation and annotation of some Ruskin in his thirties (La Bible d'Amiens, 1904; Sésame et les lys, 1906); the publication at various times of talented articles and pastiches [see Parody And Pastiche]; and, starting 30 years after his death, successive discoveries by scholars of many unpublished sketches or drafts. Of these drafts, the most sustained and ambitious is an unfinished novel, Jean Santeuil, written mainly in Proust's mid-to-late twenties (published 1952). Perhaps the most influential posthumous publication has been that of a short extract from drafts for A la recherche du temps perdu, known as Contre Sainte-Beuve and written c.1909. This extract, in the form in which it was published in 1954, is part essay, part autobiography, part fiction. In it Proust suggests that the kind of literary criticism which seeks close connections between works of art and the artist's own life is at best naïve, at worst wilfully stupid; for (he argues) there is an absolute division between the self which socializes with others and the ‘deeper’ self which creates in solitude. The same idea is present in A la recherche (embodied most notably in the figure of the great composer Vinteuil, despised by his neighbours). But Contre Sainte-Beuve puts the case more forcefully and single-mindedly, and it was only after its publication that mainstream French literary criticism slowly started to move away from the biographical approach. Contre Sainte-Beuve probably prompted, or at least reinforced, important new critical and literary trends in the second half of the 20th c. [see Criticism, 4].
Proust was, then, a more committed writer than his contemporaries and early commentators realized. Nevertheless, it is still true that, although clearly brilliant, he wrote nothing of real artistic importance until A la recherche. His previous writings show that he already had wit, all of his themes, many of his characters, and his gifts for metaphor, parody, and hyperbolic elaboration. But he was still groping towards a structure for these, and still often lacked complete stylistic control. It does seem that, round about 1908-9, he may have had a sudden inspiration comparable to that he gives to the narrator of A la recherche, even if it was only of how to use insights long held. Certainly, from about 1909-10 he devoted himself to a huge task of writing, revising, and expanding, using the ill health of these later years as a way of withdrawing from the fashionable social circles he had once courted. Surviving manuscripts, typescripts, and proofs of A la recherche show how meticulously and purposefully he shaped and reshaped successive drafts.
The first volume (Du côté de chez Swann) was published in 1913, and although well received did not become immediately famous. World War I then interrupted publication. During these four years Proust greatly developed the rest of his novel, partly under the influence of the war itself, partly under that of his most passionate and tragic love-affair, but mainly because he constantly saw newly fertile ways of turning the 1, 500 pages he had already written into the still richer and more sophisticated 3, 000 we now have. With the publication of the second volume (A l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs, 1919), and the award of the Prix Goncourt, his fame was assured, and by the time he died he was attracting an international readership which has continued to grow.
Although A la recherche occasionally teases the reader with the idea that it might be Proust's own autobiography, it is not: there are very many differences, small and large, between the life of Proust the man and that of the narrator of A la recherche. The work is a great one because it is an intellectually challenging and aesthetically exquisite fiction.
Correspondance de Marcel Proust, ed. P. Kolb (1970- )
R. Hayman, Proust: A Biography (1990)
The World of Proust, as seen by Paul Nadar (Hardcover)
by Anne-Marie Bernard (Author), Paul Nadar (Photographer), Pierre-Jean Rémy (Preface), Susan Wise (Translator)