The starting point of A la recherche du temps perdu (Remembrance of Things Past) is an experience everyone has had. We have all had a physical sensation that has reminded us so vividly of a moment in our past that we have almost ceased to be aware of the present. Marcel Proust immortalized this in the first volume of his fifteen-volume novel, in 1913. But the novel, completed just before his death in 1922, deals with many other themes. It is an account of how the narrator, Marcel, discovers his vocation as an artist and explores the nature of art. As a psychological novel, it studies jealousy and how the emotional traumas we undergo in childhood can influence our adult lives. It is the first major novel to offer a detailed account of male and female homosexuality. It is a satirical analysis of French upper-class society at the turn of the century. It also shows how this society changes with time. Philip Thody offers a straightforward analysis of how Proust's novel is constructed, what it contains, and how its themes can be related to our experiences as members of American or English society in the late twentieth century. He explains one of the most complex prose narratives in terms that both educate and entertain the reader who may be unfamiliar with Proust and his work. '...(Thody) writes in a most engagingly down-to-earth manner, conveying a real sense of enthusiasm, and positively luring the reader towards his potentially daunting subject ... Professor Thody's contribution holds its own with ease.' - Modern and Contemporary France.
This departure from the norm reveals a side to Proust that was capable of observing the class struggle in the Third Republic, a possibility that the author discovered in his studying and interpretation of A la recherche du temps perdu.
For forty years, scholars have had access to a vast array of documents that reveal the stages by which a few modest episodes grew into the vast and complex structure the world reveres as Marcel Proust's unique novel, A la recherche du temps perdu. Although many soundings have been made in this corpus, which comprises manuscript pages, exercise books, typescripts, and publisher's proofs, Anthony Pugh's study is the first attempt to provide a comprehensive view of the story that the documents reveal, at least in the years before the outbreak of war in 1914. A crucial feature of the research is the rigorous establishment of the chronological sequence of the documents, a task complicated by Proust's habit of returning to sketches already written, amplifying them with extensive additions in the margins and on the facing pages, often reorganizing them, and finally reworking them in another form, sometimes physically intercalating pages of the first version into the new one. Anthony Pugh analyses with scrupulous care every document, facing all the multi-faceted problems they present, and showing why many solutions, some of them widely accepted by Proust scholars, have to be questioned. It emerges from this investigation that however unsystematic Proust was in his method of composing, there is an inner logic in the way he oscillates between writing new incidents and editing texts already extant. Now, for the first time, the whole story of the way in which A la recherche du temps perdu grew during the first six years of its gestation is told in full, both in its general thrust and in its fine details.
By redefining narrative temporality in light of modern physics, this book advances a unique and innovative approach to the deep-seated temporalities within the Gospel of John—and challenges the implicit assumptions of textual brokenness that run throughout Johannine scholarship.
To many writers of the early twentieth century, modernism meant not only the reshaping or abandonment of tradition but also an interest in psychology and in new concepts of space, time, art, and language. Randall Stevenson's important new analysis of the genre presents a lucid, comprehensive introduction to modernist fiction, covering a wide range of writers and works. Drawing on narrative theory and cultural history, Stevenson offers fresh insights into the work of such important modernists as Henry James, Joseph Conrad, Ford Madox Ford, D.H. Lawrence, Wyndham Lewis, Dorothy Richardson, May Sinclair, Virginia Woolf, and James Joyce. In addition he discusses the work of Marcel Proust, an important figure in the development of modernism in Europe. This illuminating book places the new imagination of the modernist age in its historical context and looks at how and why the pressures of early twentieth century life led to the development of this distinctive and influential literary form. This accessible account of modernism, modernity, and the novel will be welcomed by students, scholars, and general readers alike.
In the revised edition of this popular text, Randall Stevenson has expanded, re-emphasised and amended his work to make it even more relevant to today's student studying the Modernist period in literature. The book covers a wide range of modernist novelists and novels, and also provides an invaluable guide to key developments in the genre. Stevenson has developed his text by adding a discussion of Conrad's Heart of Darkness, which is now taught more regularly than Lord Jim. In addition he takes a fresh look at the politics of the Modernists, in conjunction with the politics of their texts, pointing out the drawbacks of politically-progressive readings of many modernist novels. Finally, in the section on gender, Stevenson includes discussions of such significant figures as Djuna Barnes, HD, Katherine Mansfield and Rebecca West, as well as expanding the reference to Gertrude Stein throughout. The revisions in this updated text serve to make the authors' arguments sharper and allow the text to remain central to the discussion of modernism, modernity and the novel.