The Growth of A la recherche du temps perdu: A Chronological Examination of Proust's Manuscripts from 1909 to 1914 (Two Volume Set)
For forty years, scholars have had access to a vast array of documents that reveal the stages by which a few modest episodes grew into the vast and complex structure the world reveres as Marcel Proust's unique novel, A la recherche du temps perdu. Although many soundings have been made in this corpus, which comprises manuscript pages, exercise books, typescripts, and publisher's proofs, Anthony Pugh's study is the first attempt to provide a comprehensive view of the story that the documents reveal, at least in the years before the outbreak of war in 1914.
A crucial feature of the research is the rigorous establishment of the chronological sequence of the documents, a task complicated by Proust's habit of returning to sketches already written, amplifying them with extensive additions in the margins and on the facing pages, often reorganizing them, and finally reworking them in another form, sometimes physically intercalating pages of the first version into the new one. Anthony Pugh analyses with scrupulous care every document, facing all the multi-faceted problems they present, and showing why many solutions, some of them widely accepted by Proust scholars, have to be questioned.
It emerges from this investigation that however unsystematic Proust was in his method of composing, there is an inner logic in the way he oscillates between writing new incidents and editing texts already extant. Now, for the first time, the whole story of the way in which A la recherche du temps perdu grew during the first six years of its gestation is told in full, both in its general thrust and in its fine details.
- Series: University of Toronto Romance Series
- World Rights
- Page Count: 1120 pages
- Dimensions: 6.4in x 3.0in x 9.0in
'Written with a style and verve that draws the reader into the labyrinth paths of Proust's creation, The Growth of A la recherche du temps perdu is an extremely important contribution to international Proust studies. Based on painstakingly meticulous research that often comes close to detective work, Anthony Pugh establishes the exact sequence of the many thousand textual units that make up the vast corpus of manuscripts, including drafts, typescripts, and proofs. The result is a remarkable synthesis of decades of Proust scholarship, but also, more importantly, an important correction to and expansion of earlier studies. The book will be a major reference work for Proust scholars.'
Marion Schmid, School of Literatures, Languages, and Cultures, University of Edinburgh
'Anthony Pugh's knowledge and command of Proust's work is most impressive. The Growth of A la recherche du temps perdu is one of the most thorough and objective pieces of scholarship I have ever read.'
William C. Carter, Department of Foreign Languages, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Author InformationAnthony R. Pugh is a professor emeritus in the Department of French at the University of New Brunswick.
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