Non-Fiction The Proust Project

ISBN 13: 9780374238322

The Proust Project

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9780374238322: The Proust Project

"Discovering Proust is like wandering through a totally unfamiliar land and finding it peopled with kindred spirits and sister souls and fellow countrymen . . . They speak our language, our dialect, share our blind-spots and are awkward in exactly the same way we are, just as their manner of lacing every access of sorrow with slapstick reminds us so much of how we do it when we are sad and wish to hide it, that surely we are not alone and not as strange as we feared we were. And here lies the paradox. So long as a writer tells us what he and only he can see, then surely he speaks our language." --from the preface by André Aciman

For The Proust Project, editor André Aciman asked twenty-eight writers--Shirley Hazzard, Lydia Davis, Richard Howard, Alain de Botton, Diane Johnson, Edmund White, and others--to choose a favorite passage from In Search of Lost Time and introduce it in a brief essay. Gathered together, along with the passages themselves (and a synopsis that guides the reader from one passage to the next), these essays form the perfect introduction to the greatest novel of the last century, and the perfect gift for any Proustian.

FSG will co-publish The Proust Project in a deluxe edition with Turtle Point Press, Books & Co., and Helen Marx Books.
André Aciman is the author of Out of Egypt and False Papers. He is also a frequent contributor to The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books. Aciman teaches comparative literature at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.For The Proust Project, editor André Aciman asked twenty-eight writers—among them Shirley Hazzard, Lydia Davis, Richard Howard, Alain de Botton, Diane Johnson, Edmund White, Geoffrey O'Brien, Wayne Koestenbaum, Susan Minot, Andrew Solomon, and Louis Auchincloss—to choose a favorite passage from In Search of Lost Time and introduce it in a brief essay.

As gathered togethered here, along with the translated passages themselves (and a synopsis that guides the reader from one passage to the next), these essays form the perfect introduction to the greatest novel of the last century. "Discovering Proust is like wandering through a totally unfamiliar land and finding it peopled with kindred spirits and sister souls and fellow countrymen . . . They speak our language, our dialect, share our blind-spots, and are awkward in exactly the same way we are, just as their manner of lacing every access of sorrow with slapstick reminds us so much of how we do it when we are sad and wish to hide it, that surely we are not alone and not as strange as we feared we were. And here lies the paradox. So long as a writer tells us what he and only he can see, then surely he speaks our language."—André Aciman, from his Preface

"Editor Andre Aciman's introductory essays gracefully place the individual passages in the larger context of the multivolume novel with great skill. He also provides the most penetrating essay on In Search of Lost Time in his preface."—Barbara Fisher, The Boston Globe

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About the Author:

André Aciman is the author of Out of Egypt (FSG, 1994) and False Papers (FSG, 2000). He is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books. He teaches literature at Bard.

From Publishers Weekly:

Editor Aciman (Out of Egypt) asked 28 writers who share a deep appreciation of Proust—Alain de Botton, Lydia Davis, Richard Howard, Susan Minot, Colm Tóibín and Edmund White, among others—to choose and comment on their favorite passages from In Search of Lost Time. These passages are reprinted in English (using primarily D.M. Enright's 1993 translation) with the essays they inspired, linked by plot synopsis. Each writer brings to bear aspects of his or her own area of expertise—be it cultural criticism, poetry, musicology or translation. Reflections tend to be personal and autobiographical, a tone set by Aciman in his preface when he charmingly writes of how Proust invites us to " 'bookmark' our own past onto his." Almost all of the contributors attempt to define Proustian sensibility and to register its effects on the life of the mind. Olivier Bernier discusses how reading Proust helped him to assert his own aesthetic values, and Wayne Koestenbaum acutely reflects on Proust's wisdom regarding love objects and the imagination. In a more informative mode, Edmund White discusses Proust's apparent homophobia and sexual identity; and Richard Howard analyzes the "coiling elaboration" of a classic Proustian sentence. This title is full of intriguing moments of appreciation, ripe for sampling by seasoned Proustians, but not intended as an introduction to the great author.
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