Viking Adult, Hardcover, 9780670876556, 1052pp.
Publication Date: August 7, 2000
List Price: $40.00*
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A bestseller in France, where it was published in 1996 by Gallimard, "Marcel Proust" is sure to become the definitive biography of the writer who continues to capture the public's imagination. The great worldwide authority on Proust's work, Jean-Yves Tadie dismisses simplistic psychological speculations about Proust's life and motivations to focus instead on the facts and feel of late nineteenth-century Europe. Young Proust is not just a homosexual man with an unconscious resentment of his brother; he is a well-connected and frighteningly well-read man who approached writing as a serious, spiritual vocation. The last third of Tadie's biography, as the last third of Proust's life, is almost entirely occupied with the growth of A La Recherche. At one point, Tadie reproduces the final page of Proust's manuscript, with all its crossings-out and rewritings. His analysis is careful and illuminating. As one reviewer of the French edition has said, "we could not wish for a biographer more aware of the literary implications of his task".