The first book to address everyone who relishes reading Proust and wants to know more about how his writing works.
This is 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.
‘Read this excellent book’ Stuart Jeffries, Guardian
‘Very refreshing… a splendidly tough-minded and generous introduction’ Gabriel Josipovici, Independent
‘Brilliant’ Peter Conrad, Observer
‘A splendidly thought-filled book’ Eric Griffiths, Evening Standard
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. Art, death, sex, politics, loss, guilt, morality – all Proust’s major themes are here in all their glory, but revealed close up.
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The best general study of Proust's 3,000-page work. Times Literary Supplement Genteel and meditative. Lingua Franca Bowie can say more in three sentences than many a scholar in a belabored chapter... This is criticism motivated by intellectual joy, creatively sustained by felicities of expression. -- Victor Brombert Los Angeles Times Bowie is one of our best living critics... [His] moving wit sends his reader straight back to the text itself. Which is what criticism should do. -- A. S. Byatt London Daily Telegraph Each [chapter] challenges traditional interpretations of Proust's handling of these themes, and deepens one's pleasure in and understanding of the novel... Excellent. Guardian A searching attempt to grasp the nature of Proust's vast project... Brilliant analyses. Times (London)From the Publisher:
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 Fontana Press, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Minor shelf wear Good condition is defined as: a copy that has been read but remains in clean condition. All of the pages are intact and the cover is intact and the spine may show signs of wear. The book may have minor markings which are not specifically mentioned. Most items will be dispatched the same or the next working day. Bookseller Inventory # mon0005846677
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Bookseller Inventory # GOR001601125