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Proust in Love

4.4 (1475)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Proust in Love.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    William C Carter(Author)

    Book details

The acclaimed Proust biographer William Carter portrays Proust's amorous adventures and misadventures from adolescence through his adult years, supplying where appropriate Proust's own sensitive, intelligent, and often disillusioned observations about love and sexuality. Proust is revealed as a man agonizingly caught between the constant fear of public exposure as a homosexual, and the need to find and express love. In telling the story of "Proust in love", Carter also shows how the author's experiences became major themes in his novel "In Search of Lost Time". Carter discusses Proust's adolescent sexual experiences, his disastrous brothel visit to cure homosexual inclinations, and his first great loves. He also addresses the duel Proust fought with the journalist Jean Lorrain after he alluded to Proust's homosexuality in print, his flirtations with respectable women and high-class prostitutes, and his affairs with young men of the servant class. With new revelations about Proust's love life and a gallery of photographs, the book provides an unprecedented glimpse of Proust's gay Paris.

'...well-written, and sometimes amusing...' -- Patrick O'Connor, Literary Review, June 2006'Carter has combed every volume of Proust's correspondence...[and] has produced a study crammed with higher risk speculation...' -- Richard Davenport-Hines, The Sunday Telegraph, July 9 2006'Carter's excellent study of Proust's amorous adventures frequently uses [A La Recherche...] as a lens to examine the life.' -- London Review of Books, July 20 2006

3.4 (5095)
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Book details

  • PDF | 280 pages
  • William C Carter(Author)
  • Yale University Press; 1st Edition edition (2 Jun. 2006)
  • English
  • 2
  • Biography

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Review Text

  • By taffyman on 1 May 2017

    This is a very interesting insight into one of French literature's enigmatic men.It is a specialised study of Proust's private like and how it affected his great work.It is well written and offers details that sometimes seem stranger than fiction.A good read for those who know something about the man already so perhaps not for everyone.

  • By Blahblahblah on 2 August 2010

    Despite Proust's avowed rejection of Saint-Beauve's literary theories (who believed that knowing the biographical details of writers reveals deeper meaning to their work), one cannot help wondering when reading 'In Search of Lost Time' how sincere this position may be. The Narrator and Proust's life are strikingly similar, and the novel reads almost like an autobiography at times. This often prompts the keen reader to look for parallels between the two by studying the litany of Proustian scholarship and biography that is available.'Proust in Love', written by the esteemed Proust scholar and biographer William C. Carter, is not afraid to suggest that there may be more literary interpretation to be gained through biographical details than Proust himself deigned to admit. Given the novel's key themes of love, jealousy, sexuality and sadism, a critical work which focuses on Proust's love life seems indispensible for a full understanding of the book. Carter excels in finding links between the real events of Proust's life and parallels within the novel, knowing when to bring in the reins and not pushing interpretation too far, providing a fascinating insight into the enormous richness and complexity of 'In Search of Lost Time'. Carter provides a brief but substantial explication of Proust's romantic and sexual life, covering his early crushes on classmates, his first real love with the pianist Reynaldo Hahn, his involvements with Lucien Daudet, his infatuation with his heterosexual valet, Alfred Agostinelli, and his tremendous grief surrounding his death. Carter also demonstrates Proust's thinking on sexuality, linking his ideas deftly to passages the novel. Of particular fascination for Proust lovers are the sections dealing with the seamier side of Proust's sexuality, which deal with sadism and profanation, two themes which Proust saw as the keystone of his book.Although this volume is an indispensible guide to Proust, I wouldn't recommend reading this work until the reader has finished at least half of 'Sodom and Gomorrah' as many key plot details up to that point in the novel are revealed throughout - however, one does not read Proust for the plot. Even so, those who have made significant headway into the vast expanse of 'In Search of Lost Time' can infinitely improve their understanding and enjoyment of the greatest novel ever written with this outstanding piece of literary criticism.

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