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The Cambridge Introduction to Marcel Proust


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Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Life; 2. Contexts; 3. Early works and late essays; 4. In Search of Lost Time; 5. Proust criticism; Epilogue: Proustian afterlives; Further reading.

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The most up-to-date and detailed introduction to Proust's life and work available today, including a volume-by-volume study of Proust's novel.

About the Author

Adam Watt is Senior Lecturer in French at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is the author of Reading in Proust's A la recherche: 'le delire de la lecture' (2009), and editor of Le Temps retrouve Eighty Years After/80 ans apres: Critical Essays/Essais critiques (2009).


'Watt creates a successful guidebook for new and hesitant readers of the Recherche ... [He] shares with his reader what, in the end, is the true secret of Proust's novel: for its great length and difficulty, the Recherche holds the promise of being an inexhaustible source of pleasure.' H-France Review
'Watt manages to make a difference with his fresh overview of Proust reception beyond literary scholarship and his focus on highlighting the richness of the Search beyond the well-known stereotypes of madeleine and memory. One of his most commendable achievements in this respect is the attention to the text's linguistic quality.' Modern & Contemporary France
Setting a course away from the reductive image of Proust as the reclusive hypochondriac hidden in his cork-lined room, Watt creates a successful guidebook for new and hesitant readers of the Recherche. In particular, Watt provides a preview of, and a map leading to, the many "pay-offs" one is likely to receive from their investment of time and effort in the three thousand pages of a novel whose first sentence--"Longtemps, je me suis couche de bonne heure" [For a long time I would go to bed early]--is perhaps not the most promising in the history of literature....The Cambridge Introduction to Marcel Proust is organized intuitively and with the intention of easing a first-time reader into the complexities of a decidedly difficult text....a pertinent and useful text." -Herve G. Picherit, University of Wyoming, H-France Review Vol. 12 (March 2012), No. 36

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