Marcel Proust: A Life

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9780300081459: Marcel Proust: A Life

This book is a magisterial account of the life and times of Marcel Proust, one of the greatest literary voices of the twentieth century. Based on a host of recently available letters, memoirs, and manuscripts, it sheds new light on Proust's character, his development as an artist, and his masterpiece In Search of Lost Time (long known in English as Remembrance of Things Past). The biography also sets Proust's life in the decadent artistic and social context of the French fin de sihcle and the years leading up to World War I. The glittering Parisian world of which Proust was a part was also home to such luminaries as Anatole France, Jean Cocteau, and Andri Gide. William Carter brings this vibrant social world to life while he explores the inner world of Proust's intellectual and artistic development, as well as his most intimate personal experience. Carter examines Proust's passionate attachment to his mother, his deep love for the scenes of his youth, his flirtation with Parisian high society, his complicated sexual desires, and his irrevocable commitment to literary truth and shows how all these played out in the making of his great novel. In the book's abundance of detail, its wealth of anecdotes, quoted letters, and recovered conversations many of them appearing in English for the first time Proust comes alive as never before.

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Henry McBride Series in Modernism and Modernity

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"Magisterial."—Iain Finlayson, The Times (London) "An even-handed down-to-earth biography of one of the most finely tuned novelists of all time. Carter documents everything, exaggerates nothing, and keeps the vivid story moving."—Roger Shattuck "Proust would have been pleased with this life. . . . [This] biography will likely stand for . . . many years."—Virginia Quarterly Review "Diligently researched and written . . . with a probing intelligence worthy of its complex subject . . . . Carter brings to life not only Proust but his times: the Parisian belle epoque of artistic ferment, affluence, and joie de vivre."—Dan Hulbert, Chicago Tribune "Carter's account of Proust's life is very, very good—the best biography of the novelist to date. Carter gracefully balances the various sides of the great writer, who was fawning, imperious, jealous, malicious, loyal, amusing, generous, and selfish. . . . The text is so nicely balanced and well written that it reads rapidly and pleasurably throughout."—Choice "Massive and magisterial."—Christopher Gray, Oxford Times "Carter's energetic biography leaves us with a livelier impression of Proust's life, and the social, historical and artistic forces that shaped him."—Carl Bromley, In These Times "William Carter's biography of Proust's life is a masterpiece in itself—and for once I wish a long biography was even longer."—Gary Pulsifer, Gay Times 'This impressive biography of Proust by Carter makes a good companion to Edmund White's recent Marcel Proust. Carter renders a minutely detailed account of the novelist's brief, fascinating life and extraordinary literary output. . . . Highly recommended."—Library Journal

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William C. Carter
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Carter, William C.
Published by Yale University Press (2000)
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