28 September 2009

A Guide to Reading Proust

After nearly 100 years, Marcel Proust's The Remembrance of Things Past remains as formidable a reading task as when it first appeared. Indeed, possibly more so - since it was originally published in single volumes at intervals, which gave contemporary readers a chance to digest its contents slowly. But it now exists in seven volumes totaling 3,200 pages, a million and a half words, and containing more than 400 characters. This is not an intellectual journey to be undertaken lightly, and even experienced readers need all the help they can get to deal with a literary construction of this magnitude. Patrick Alexander's guide is an attempt to provide all the assistance that's required. The book is in three parts. The first offers an overview then a summary of what takes place in each of the seven volumes of the novel. Part two is a who's who - thumbnail sketches of the principal characters, what they do, and ... Read more >>

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