Proust Among the Stars

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Columbia University Press, 1998 - Literary Criticism - 348 pages

For many, Proust is the supreme European writer of the twentieth century. This book tackles his achievement head-on. Art, death, sex, politics, loss, guilt, morality--Proust's major themes are revealed and explained here.

Proust Among the Stars is a matchless close reading of Remembrance of Things Past and a lesson in how to read the great books profitably and pleasurably. Malcolm Bowie asserts that Proust's novel is one of the great exercises in speculative imagining in the world's literature; and that its originality lies first in the quality of Proust's textual invention, page after page, line after line. Proust's world constantly shimmers with a sense of multiple possibilities and is at the same time infused with the urge to order, obsessively to organize. Bowie examines how Proust achieves this in his writing, as opposed to his themes, plots, or theories.

An original, beautiful, and deeply moving book, Proust Among the Stars shows how Proust's work deepens our understanding of our lives and ourselves.

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Contents

Self
1
Time
30
Art
68
Politics
126
Morality
175
Sex
209
Death
267
Epilogue
319
NOTES
329
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
338
FURTHER READING
339
INDEX
339
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

Malcolm Bowie is Marshal Foch Professor of French Literature at Oxford University and a Fellow of All Souls College. His previous books include Freud, Proust, and Lacan and Lacan: A Modern Master. He reviews regularly for the Times Literary Supplement, Guardian, London Review of Books, and the Times Higher Education Supplement.

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