The first book to address everyone who relishes reading Proust and wants to know more about how his writing works.
Art, death, sex, politics, loss, guilt, morality – all Proust’s major themes are here in all their glory, but revealed close up.
A book that stays in touch with ordinary readers as well as scholars.
A book that recalls that Proust’s novel is one of the great exercises in speculative imagining in the world’s literature; and that its originality lies first in the quality of Proust’s textual invention, page after page, line after line.
A matchless close reading of a literary masterpiece, In Search of Lost Time, and a lesson in how to read the Great Books profitably and pleasurably.
Proust’s world constantly shimmers with a sense of multiple possibility and is at the same time infused with the urge to order, obsessively to organize. Bowie examines how Proust achieves this in his writing as opposed to his themes, plots or theories.
Was Proust a paedophile?
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‘Ambitious – a searching attempt to grasp the nature of Proust’s vast project… the sheer passionate thoughtfulness of his criticism… Brilliant, fresh and ardent’
DERWENT MAY, The Times
some excerpts from the British reviews
‘Read this excellent book…it sends you off enthusiastically into Proust’s imaginative world.’ STUART JEFFRIES, Guardian
‘Malcolm Bowie is one of our best living critics. He writes beautifully, subtly and lucidly about very difficult subjects. He explains genuinely complex ideas with wit and clarity because he understands them through and through. Proust Among the Stars will surprise and intrigue Proust fanatics but can equally be recommended to the general reader as a way of looking. It is arranged in a series of thematic chapters – Self, Time, Art, Politics, Morality, Sex and Death – which trace the forming of the book and its narrator like a series of circles made by a stone in water. Bowie’s method is to examine Proust’s plenitude with both a microscope and a telescope. He analyses those long, looping, lassoing, curling sentences, with their qualifications, their disparate metaphors, their lyricism and their harsh contradictions, and shows both the brilliance of the writing, and how each detail, each adjective, hooks into the whole scheme… The critic’s moving wit sends his reader straight back to the text itself. Which is what criticism should do, but does not always do.’ A S BYATT, Telegraph
‘This remarkable book offers brilliant close readings of many passages, acts of sheer literary critical magic; it has a particular, slanted and surprising reading of A la recherche as a whole, of its complicated manners and its moral and metaphysical project; it places Proust among other authors, from Dante to Emily Dickinson, and from Erasmus to Kierkegaard and Cole Porter , and it situates reading among a set of other activities like listening to jazz or Mahler or looking at Rothko. How many other high powered critical works, I wonder have, Buñuel next to Sir Thomas Browne in the index, or Stan Getz next to Giotto?’ MICHAEL WOOD, London Review of Books
‘A splendid thought-filled book.’ ERIC GRIFFITHS, Evening Standard
‘Bowie writes in a flexible vigorous style, that occasionally begins to surf on the lip of its own inventiveness, riding a breaker of allusive prose to its full fling.’ ROGER SHATTUCK, TLS
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0002556227 This is a hardcover book with dust jacket. !!!!This is a 1st Edition!!!!!. Bookseller Inventory # 326.I
Book Description Columbia Univ. Press, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0002556227