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Marcel Proust

Valentin-Louis-Georges-Eugène-Marcel Proust (July 10, 1871 - November 18, 1922), French intellect, novelist, essayist and critic, author of A la recherche du temps perdu (lit. "In Search of Lost Time", though previously translated as "Remembrance of Things Past").

- Marcel Proust -
Proust was born in Paris, the son of a famous doctor. His mother was Jewish, his father Roman Catholic; he was raised within a Catholic culture. His father's family was from the Beauce[?] region, around Chartres, and throughout childhood he spent each summer in the village of Illiers. This would later be fictionalized in A la Recherche as "Combray", and the village and the surrounding countryside is described extensively in the first two volumes. The village was renamed "Illiers-Combray[?] in honour of this on the occasion of the Proust centenary celebrations.

At the age of 9 he suffered his first asthma attack, which nearly killed him. He became very sickly, and sometimes hypersensitive to light and noise. His curative trips to seaside resorts, most often Cabourg[?], formed the basis of the fictional town of Balbec.

He spent most of his life in the bed of his Paris apartment because he was asthmatic and had an extremely sensitive stomach and skin. His principal work is the lengthy A la recherche du temps perdu. In "Jean Santeuil", Proust describes his portrait by painter Antonio de La Gandara whom he much admired.

Alexander Woollcott said, “Reading Proust is like bathing in someone else's dirty water.”

Alain de Botton's How Proust Can Change Your Life was published in 1997.

Proust died in 1922 and is buried in the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris.


  • Portraits de femmes
  • 1896 Les plaisirs et les jours
  • 1913-1927 A la recherche du temps perdu
    • 1913 Du côté de chez Swann
    • 1918 À l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleur
    • 1920 Le côté de Guermantes
    • 1922 Sodome et Gomorrhe
    • 1923 La prisonnière
    • 1925 Albertine disparue (original title: La fugitive)
    • 1927 Le temps retrouvé
  • 1919 Pastiches et mélanges
  • 1954 Contre Sainte-Beuve
  • 1954 Jean Santeuil (unfinished)

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