Information about Marcel Proust
|Born:||July 10 1871|
|Died:||November 18 1922 (aged 51)|
|Occupation:||Novelist, essayist, critic|
|Influences:||Saint-Simon, Brantôme, Honoré de Balzac, Anatole France, Henri Bergson, Fyodor Dostoevsky, John Ruskin, Leo Tolstoy, Arthur Schopenhauer|
|Influenced:||Ahmet Altan, John Banville, Samuel Beckett, Jean Cocteau, Graham Greene, Jack Kerouac, Naguib Mahfouz, Manuel Mujica Láinez, Iris Murdoch, Vladimir Nabokov, Orhan Pamuk, Edmund White, Virginia Woolf, Richard Wright|
BiographyProust was born in Auteuil (the southern sector of Paris's then-rustic 16th arrondissement) at the home of his great-uncle, two months after the Treaty of Frankfurt formally ended the Franco-Prussian War. His birth took place during the violence that surrounded the suppression of the Paris Commune, and his childhood corresponds with the consolidation of the French Third Republic. Much of In Search of Lost Time concerns the vast changes, most particularly the decline of the aristocracy and the rise of the middle classes, that occurred in France during the Third Republic and the fin de siècle.
Proust's father, Achille Adrien Proust, was a prominent pathologist and epidemiologist, responsible for studying and attempting to remedy the causes and movements of cholera through Europe and Asia; he was the author of many articles and books on medicine and hygiene. Proust's mother, Jeanne Clémence Weil, was the daughter of a well-off and cultured Jewish family. Her father was a banker. She was a literate and well-read woman. Her letters demonstrate a well-developed sense of humour, and her command of English was sufficient for her to provide the necessary impetus to her son's later attempts to translate John Ruskin.
By the age of nine, Proust had had his first serious asthma attack, and thereafter he was considered by himself, his family and his friends as a sickly child. Proust spent long holidays in the village of Illiers. This village, combined with aspects of the time he spent at his great-uncle's house in Auteuil became the model for the fictional town of Combray, where some of the most important scenes of In Search of Lost Time take place. (Illiers was renamed Illiers-Combray on the occasion of the Proust centenary celebrations).
Despite his poor health, Proust served a year (1889–90) as an enlisted man in the French army, stationed at Coligny Caserne in Orléans, an experience that provided a lengthy episode in The Guermantes' Way, part three of his novel. As a young man Proust was a dilettante and a social climber, whose aspirations as a writer were hampered by his lack of application. His reputation from this period, as a snob and an amateur, contributed to his later troubles with getting Swann's Way, the first part of his huge novel, published in 1913.
Proust was very close to his mother, who cosseted him. In order to appease his father, who insisted that he pursue a career, Proust obtained a volunteer position at the Bibliothèque Mazarine in the summer of 1896. After exerting considerable effort, he obtained a sick leave which was to extend for several years until he was considered to have resigned. He never worked at his job, and he did not move from his parents' apartment until after both were dead (Tadié). Proust, who was homosexual, was one of the first European novelists to treat homosexuality openly and at length.
His life and family circle changed considerably between 1900 and 1905. In February 1903, Proust's brother Robert married and left the family home. His father died in September of the same year. Finally, and most crushingly, Proust's beloved mother died in September 1905, leaving him a considerable inheritance. (In today's terms, a principal of about $6 million, with a monthly income of about $15,000.) His health throughout this period continued to deteriorate.
Proust spent the last three years of his life largely confined to his cork-lined bedroom, sleeping during the day and working at night to complete his novel. He died in 1922 and is buried in the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.
Early writingProust was involved in writing and publishing from an early age. In addition to the literary magazines with which he was associated, and in which he published, while at school, La Revue vert and La Revue lilas, from 1890–91 Proust published a regular society column in the journal Le Mensuel (Tadie). In 1892 he was involved in founding a literary review called Le Banquet (also the French title of Plato's Symposium), and throughout the next several years Proust published small pieces regularly in this journal and in the prestigious La Revue Blanche.
In 1896 Les Plaisirs et les Jours, a compendium of many of these early pieces, was published. The book included a foreword by Anatole France, drawings by Mme. Lemaire, and was so sumptuously produced that it cost twice the normal price of a book its size.
That year Proust also began working on a novel which was eventually published in 1954 and titled Jean Santeuil by his posthumous editors. Many of the themes later developed in In Search of Lost Time find their first articulation in this unfinished work, including the enigma of memory and the necessity of reflection; several sections of In Search of Lost Time can be read in first draft in Jean Santeuil. The portrait of the parents in Jean Santeuil is quite harsh, in marked contrast to the adoration with which the parents are painted in Proust's masterpiece. Following the poor reception of Les Plaisirs et les Jours, and internal troubles with resolving the plot, Proust gradually abandoned Jean Santeuil in 1897 and stopped work on it entirely by 1899.
Beginning in 1895 Proust spent several years reading Carlyle, Emerson and John Ruskin. Through this reading Proust began to refine his own theories of art and the role of the artist in society. Also, in Time Regained the protagonist in Proust's magnum opus recalls having translated Ruskin's Sesame and Lilies. The artist's responsibility is to confront the appearance of nature, deduce its essence and retell or explain that essence in the work of art. Ruskin's view of artistic production was central to this conception, and Ruskin's work was so important to Proust that he claimed to know "by heart" several of Ruskin's books, including The Seven Lamps of Architecture, The Bible of Amiens, and Praeterita (Tadié 350).
Proust set out to translate two of Ruskin's works into French, but was hampered by an imperfect command of English. In order to compensate for this he made his translations a group affair: sketched out by his mother, the drafts were first revised by Proust, then by Marie Nordlinger, the English cousin of his friend and sometime lover Reynaldo Hahn, then by Proust again finally polished. Confronted about his method by an editor, Proust responded, "I don't claim to know English; I claim to know Ruskin" (Tadié). The Bible of Amiens, with Proust's extended introduction, was published in French in 1904. Both the translation and the introduction were very well reviewed; Henri Bergson called Proust's introduction "an important contribution to the psychology of Ruskin" and had similar praise for the translation (Tadié 433). At the time of this publication, Proust was already at work on translating Ruskin's Sesame and Lilies, which he completed in June 1905, just prior to his mother's death, and published in 1906. Literary historians and critics have ascertained that, apart from Ruskin, Proust's chief literary influences included Saint Simon, Montaigne, Stendhal, Flaubert, George Eliot, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Leo Tolstoy.
1908 was an important year for Proust's development as a writer. During the first part of the year he published in various journals pastiches of other writers. These exercises in imitation may have allowed Proust to solidify his own style. In addition, in the spring and summer of the year Proust began work on several different fragments of writing that would later coalesce under the working title of Contre Saint-Beuve. Proust described what he was working on in a letter to a friend: "I have in progress: a study on the nobility, a Parisian novel, an essay on Sainte-Beuve and Flaubert, an essay on women, an essay on pederasty (not easy to publish), a study on stained-glass windows, a study on tombstones, a study on the novel" (Tadié 513).
From these disparate fragments Proust began to shape a novel on which he worked continually during this period. The rough outline of the work centered on a first-person narrator, unable to sleep, who during the night remembers waiting as a child for his mother to come to him in the morning. The novel was to have ended with a critical examination of Sainte-Beuve and a refutation of his theory that biography was the most important tool for understanding an artist's work. Present in the unfinished manuscript notebooks are many elements that correspond to parts of the Recherche, in particular, to the "Combray" and "Swann in Love" sections of Volume 1, and to the final section of Volume 7. Trouble with finding a publisher, as well as a gradually changing conception of his novel, led Proust to shift work to a substantially different project that still contained many of the same themes and elements. By 1910 he was at work on À la recherche du temps perdu.
In Search of Lost Time
The book was translated into English by C. K. Scott-Moncrieff, appearing as Remembrance of Things Past between 1922 and 1931.
In 1995, Penguin undertook a fresh translation of the book by editor Christopher Prendergast and seven translators in three countries, based on the latest and most authoritative French text. Subsequently, the title of the novel was more accurately translated as In Search of Lost Time and is now often referred to as such. Its six volumes were published in Britain under the Allen Lane imprint in 2002. The first four (those which under American copyright law are in the public domain) have since been published in the U.S. under the Viking imprint and in paperback under the Penguin Classics imprint.
In popular culture
- In the film Henry & June (1990), Anais Nin's first line is "Through literature. Yes, I love Proust." The real-life Nin cited Proust as a major influence on her work.
- In the feature film Little Miss Sunshine (2006), Steve Carell's character Frank says he is the #1 Proust scholar in the United States. He adds that Proust is the second greatest writer in history next to Shakespeare. He also states that after Proust looked back on his life, his most productive years of writing were those where he experienced the most suffering.
- In the television series Gilmore Girls, Marcel Proust is mentioned several times. One of his books causes quite a controversy between three people and the process of its return.
- Proust features in the Monty Python sketch, Fish Licence, wherein it is suggested that "...Marcel Proust 'ad an 'addock", and where the protagonist, played by John Cleese, having been accused by Michael Palin of being mentally unstable, goes on to threaten his adversary with the statement: "if you're calling the author A la Recherche du Temps Perdu a loony I should have to ask you to step outside".
- The Pythons revisited Proust in their sketch "The All-England Summarize Proust Competition".
- Proust was mentioned as one of the great writers by Emily Mortimer's character in "Père-Lachaise", a segment of the collective film Paris, je t'aime (2006).
- In "The Office (UK)", upon receiving a radio hat for his birthday, Tim Canterbury mentions that he loves the novels of Proust.
- 1896 Les plaisirs et les jours
- 1904 La Bible D'Amiens; a translation of Ruskin's The Bible of Amiens
- 1906 Sésame et les lys; a translation of Ruskin's Sesame and Lilies
- 1913–27 À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time, also Remembrance of Things Past)
Vol. French titles Published English titles 1 Du côté de chez Swann 1913 Swann's Way
The Way by Swann's
2 À l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs 1919 Within a Budding Grove
In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower
3 Le Côté de Guermantes
(published in two volumes)
1920/21 The Guermantes Way 4 Sodome et Gomorrhe
(published in two volumes)
1921/22 Cities of the Plain
Sodom and Gomorrah
5 La Prisonnière 1923 The Captive
6 La Fugitive
1925 The Fugitive
The Sweet Cheat Gone
7 Le Temps retrouvé 1927 The Past RecapturedTime Regained
Finding Time Again
- 1919 Pastiches et mélanges
- 1954 Contre Sainte-Beuve
- 1954 Jean Santeuil (unfinished)
References1. ^ Tadié, J-Y. (Euan Cameron, trans.) Marcel Proust: A life. New York: Penguin Putnam, 2000.
- Aciman, André (2004) The Proust Project. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
- Albaret, Céleste (Barbara Bray, trans.) 2003 Monsieur Proust. New York: The New York Review of Books
- Bernard, Anne-Marie (2002) The World of Proust, as seen by Paul Nadar. Cambridge: MIT Press
- Carter, William C. (2000) Marcel Proust: A Life. New Haven: Yale University Press
- De Botton, Alain (1998) How Proust Can Change Your Life. New York: Vintage Books
- Deleuze, Gilles (2004) Proust and Signs: The Complete Text. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press
- Painter, George D (1959) Marcel Proust A Biography Vols. 1 & 2. London: Chatto & Windus
- Shattuck, Roger (1963) Proust's Binoculars: A Study of Memory, Time, and Recognition in À la recherche du temps perdu. New York: Random House
- Shattuck, Roger (2000) Proust's Way: A Field Guide To In Search of Lost Time, New York: W. W. Norton
- Tadié, Jean-Yves: MARCEL PROUST: A Life. Viking, New York, 2000
- White, Edmund (1998) Marcel Proust. New York: Viking Books
- Le temps de Proust- a blog about (re)reading Proust and the associated secondary literature
- Reading Proust- A reader enjoys the new Penguin/Viking translations of In Search of Lost Time.
- Reinterpretation of Remembrance Of Things Past
- Why Proust? And Why Now? - an essay on the lasting relevance of Proust and his work
- A short Proust bibliography (bilingual)
- TempsPerdu.com- many useful links, including to online texts of Lost Time in French and English
- The Kolb-Proust Archive for Research
- Marcel Proust, a personal site in Italian
- Essay by Stephan Reimertz] on Proust in Germany (in French)]
- Marcel Proust's Album, Marcel Proust receives a tribute in this album of "recomposed photographs".
- Marcel Proust et l'aviation, Proust and airplanes.
The writings of Marcel Proust
- Works by Marcel Proust at Project Gutenberg French text of volumes 1-4 and Swann's Way in English translation
- University of Adelaide Library French text of volumes 1-4 and the complete novel in English translation
Persondata NAME Proust, Marcel ALTERNATIVE NAMES Proust, Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel SHORT DESCRIPTION French Novelist, essayist DATE OF BIRTH July 10, 1871 PLACE OF BIRTH Auteuil, France DATE OF DEATH November 18, 1922 PLACE OF DEATH Paris, FranceJuly 10 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.
..... Click the link for more information.18th century - 19th century - 20th century
1840s 1850s 1860s - 1870s - 1880s 1890s 1900s
1868 1869 1870 - 1871 - 1872 1873 1874
Subjects: Archaeology - Architecture -
..... Click the link for more information.Auteuil and Passy are part of the 16th arrondissement of Paris and Neuilly is a nearby suburb.
This area is commonly known as the richest in Paris, with calm, select and very expensive neighbourhoods, including many mansions.
..... Click the link for more information.Motto
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité
"Liberty, Equality, Fraternity"
..... Click the link for more information.November 18 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.
- 326 - The old St. Peter's Basilica is consecrated.
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1890s 1900s 1910s - 1920s - 1930s 1940s 1950s
1919 1920 1921 - 1922 - 1923 1924 1925
Year 1922 (MCMXXII
..... Click the link for more information.Ville de Paris
City flag City coat of arms
Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur
(Latin: "Tossed by the waves, she does not sink")
The Eiffel Tower in Paris, as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro.
..... Click the link for more information.Motto
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité
"Liberty, Equality, Fraternity"
..... Click the link for more information.Employment is a contract between two parties, one being the employer and the other being the employee. An employee may be defined as: "A person in the service of another under any contract of hire, express or implied, oral or written, where the employer has
..... Click the link for more information.novel (from, Italian novella, Spanish novela, French nouvelle for "new", "news", or "short story of something new") is today a long prose narrative set out in writing.
..... Click the link for more information.Note: An individual's country of birth is not always indicative of his or her nationality.
: Top - 0–9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
- Kingsley Amis (1922–1995, United Kingdom)
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- The word critic comes from the Greek κριτικός, kritikós - one who discerns, which itself arises from the Ancient Greek word κριτής, krités
..... Click the link for more information.A literary genre is a genre of literature, that is "a loose set of criteria for a category of literary composition", depending on literary technique, tone, or content.
The most general genres in literature are (in chronological order) epic, tragedy,
..... Click the link for more information.Modernism describes a series of reforming cultural movements in art and architecture, music, literature and the applied arts which emerged in the three decades before 1914.
..... Click the link for more information.Louis de Rouvroy, duc de Saint-Simon (January 16, 1675 – March 2, 1755), French soldier, diplomatist and writer of memoirs, was born at Versailles. The peerage granted to his father, Claude de Saint-Simon(1608-1693), previously titled the Vidame
..... Click the link for more information.Pierre de Bourdeille, seigneur (and abbé) de Brantôme (c. 1540–July 15 1614) was a French historian and biographer.
LifeBrantôme was born in Perigord, Aquitaine, the third son of the baron de Bourdeille.
..... Click the link for more information.Honoré de Balzac
Portrait of Honoré de Balzac, after an 1842 daguerreotype by Louis-Auguste Bisson
Born: 20 May 1799
Died: 18 July 1850 (aged 51)
..... Click the link for more information.Anatole France
Born: April 16, 1844
Died: October 12, 1924
French literary history
16th century - 17th century
19th century -19th century
..... Click the link for more information.Henri-Louis Bergson (IPA: [bɛʁkˈsɔn]; October 18, 1859–January 4, 1941) was a major French philosopher, influential in the first half of the 20th century.
..... Click the link for more information.Fyodor Dostoevsky
Born: November 11 1821
Moscow, Russian Empire
Died: January 9 1881 (aged 61)
Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire
..... Click the link for more information.John Ruskin (February 8, 1819 – January 20, 1900) is best known for his work as an art critic and social critic, but is remembered as an author, poet and artist as well.
..... Click the link for more information.Leo Tolstoy
Leo Tolstoy, late in life.
Born: July 28 1828
Yasnaya Polyana, Russian Empire
Died: November 20 1910 (aged 82)
Astapovo, Russian Empire
..... Click the link for more information.Arthur Schopenhauer (February 22, 1788 – September 21, 1860) was a German philosopher who believed that the will to live is the fundamental reality and that this will, being a constant striving, is insatiable and ultimately yields only suffering.
..... Click the link for more information.Ahmet Altan, born on 1950, in Ankara, is a famous Turkish author. He's son of çetin altan and big brother of mehmet altan. He recently writing on hürriyet pazar.
..... Click the link for more information.John Banville
Pseudonym: Benjamin Black
Born: November 8 1945
..... Click the link for more information.Samuel Beckett
Pseudonym: Andrew Belis (Recent Irish Poetry)
Born: 13 March 1906
Foxrock, Dublin, Ireland
Died: 22 November 1989 (aged 83)
..... Click the link for more information.Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau (5 July 1889 – 11 October 1963) was a French poet, novelist, dramatist, designer, boxing manager and filmmaker. His versatile, unconventional approach and enormous output brought him international acclaim.
..... Click the link for more information.Henry Graham Greene
Born: September 2 1904
Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Died: March 3 1991 (aged 88)
Occupation: Novelist, Playwright, Short story writer
..... Click the link for more information.Jack Kerouac
Jack Kerouac circa 1950
Born: March 12 1922
Died: September 21 1969 (aged 47)
..... Click the link for more information.Naguib Mahfouz
Born: November 11 1911
Died: July 30 2006 (aged 96)
Influences: Marcel Proust
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