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  • ISBN: 9780231072649
  • ISBN10: 0231072643

Proust Between Two Centuries

by Antoine Compagnon

  • List Price: $70.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Columbia Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 10/01/1992
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Though composed in the first decades of the twentieth century, Marcel Proust's Remembrance of Things Past has nevertheless been referred to as one of the greatest works of nineteenth-century French literature. It is this paradoxical position the book occupies that Antoine Compagnon explores in his strikingly original Proust Between Two Centuries. For Compagnon, Proust not only draws on the aesthetic affinities of nineteenth-century giants such as Baudelaire, Wagner, and Ruskin, but at the same time reaches toward an early twentieth-century aesthetics. Compagnon argues that Proust is a writer of the "in-between", that his novels are successful precisely because of their imbalance and disproportion: the gaps, lags, and flaws invite us to read, making Remembrance of Things Past an enduring classic. Yet as Compagnon points out, Proust is in-between not only structurally but historically as well, straddling the intellectual and artistic movements of the fin-de-siecle period. Proust Between Two Centuries offers a detailed survey of a single period of French literary and intellectual history, dealing exclusively with the development of Remembrance of Things Past. Informed by discussions of Proust's manuscripts, each chapter focuses on major aesthetic questions of the time: the problems of fragmentation and totality in art; issues of decadent sexuality; Proust's associations with painters and musicians; and the place of Racine and Baudelaire in turn-of-the-century literature. Specialists and nonspecialists alike will be enamored of Compagnon's lucid style and Goodkin's masterful translation. The work of an exceptionally acute critical mind, Proust Between Two Centuries is the most importantbook on the writer to have appeared in many years and a monumental contribution to French literature and contemporary criticism.
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