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In Search of Lost Time (French: À la recherche du temps perdu)-also translated as Remembrance of Things Past-is a novel in seven volumes by Marcel Proust (1871-1922). His most prominent work, it is known both for its length and its theme of involuntary memory, the most famous example being the "episode of the madeleine." It gained fame in English in translations by C. K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin as Remembrance of Things Past, but the title In Search of Lost Time, a literal rendering of the French, has gained usage since D. J. Enright adopted it for his revised translation published in 1992. The novel began to take shape in 1909. Proust continued to work on it until his final illness in the autumn of 1922 forced him to break off. Proust established the structure early on, but even after volumes were initially finished he kept adding new material and edited one volume after another for publication. The last three of the seven volumes contain oversights and fragmentary or unpolished passages as they existed in draft form at the death of the author; the publication of these parts was overseen by his brother Robert. Edmund White pronounced À la recherche du temps perdu "the most respected novel of the twentieth century."
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Proust was born in Auteuil, France in 1871. He began writing his masterpiece, À la recherche du temps perdu, in 1909, and worked on it until his death in 1922, following several years of poor health during which he had been confined to his bedroom.
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