Marcel Proust

In July of 1922, British artist and author Wyndham Lewis dropped in on Ezra Pound at his studio in Paris and found him boxing with a “splendidly built young man, stripped to the waist, and with a torso of dazzling white.” That young man, a journalist covering Paris for the Toronto Star (who was beating Pound handily), remembered Lewis somewhat less favorably.

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My Novel, My Novel

Mourning Diary By Roland Barthes Translated by Richard Howard (Hill and Wang, 261 pp., $25) The Preparation of the Novel By Roland Barthes Translated by Kate Briggs (Columbia University Press, 463 pp., $29.50)   I. In retrospect, Roland Barthes once observed, his career as an intellectual began with the modest aim of revolution: It seemed to me (around 1954) that a science of signs might stimulate social criticism, and that Sartre, Brecht, and Saussure could concur in this project.

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Fitzgerald, eager to draw the shy, Yale-educated prep-school French teacher into his dashing retinue, arranged to have Wilder and Wilson picked up at the train station, but it was Marcel Proust who helped to smooth the way between them.

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Jeanne's Way

Madame Proust: A Biography By Evelyne Bloch-Dano Translated by Alice Kaplan (University of Chicago Press, 310 pp., $27.50) IT HAS NEVER BEEN CLEAR what, if anything, should be made of the fact that Proust's mother was a Jew. This genealogical fact means that in the patently irrelevant terms of Jewish law, he, too, could be called a Jew, while in the equally irrelevant terms of biology he was half-Jewish.

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Inversions

I. Marcel Proust by Edmund White (Lipper/Viking, 165 pp., $19.95) Scarcely halfway between L'Etoile and Place de la Concorde, across from the Grand Palais on the Avenue des Champs-Elysees, lies a row of landscaped parks dotted with trees and chestnut alleys through which runs a very tiny, winding path called Allee Marcel Proust.

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