Marcel Proust (Hardcover)
A witty, refreshing, and fun book on the experience of reading Marcel Proust. What would the world be like without this work, where would we be if it hadn't happened? This is how Michael Wood found himself writing about Proust's work as an event and about events in relation to that work itself. The event that created the figure we know as Proust did not take a whole lifetime, we can date it to within certain months, perhaps certain weeks, of a certain year, 1908. That was when Proust the interesting occasional writer and full-time socialite, turned into an ostensible hermit and a real novelist. This short book says something about the event as a lifetime affair, and shows what the sudden change of 1908 looks like. It explores the work of Marcel Proust as an event in the world, something that happened to literature and culture and our understanding of history. This event has more aspects than we can count, but this book offers detailed critical snapshots of seven of them: the birth of Proust as a novelist; what he teaches us about the mythology of beginnings; about metaphor as a kind of rebellion; about love as a permanent anxiety attack; about the Dreyfus Affair; about the concept of justice; about the mythology of endings.
Michael Wood, Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature, Princeton University Michael Wood received a B.A. an M.A. and a PhD at Cambridge, and then was a Fellow of St John's College for three years. After that he taught at Columbia University in New York for sixteen years, returning to England, after two years in Mexico, to teach at the University of Exeter. He went back to the USA in 1995 to take up a post at Princeton University.