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Proust's Deadline

Christine M. Cano

Publication Year: 2006

Marcel Prousts multivolume masterpiece, À la recherche du temps perdu, began to appear in 1913. Over the next fifty years, it gained a reputation as one of the greatest literary works of the twentieth century. But the novels classic image as a completed work was later shattered by the discovery of unpublished drafts, and the war of the Prousts? has kept scholars arguing over its definitive form ever since._x000B_Christine M. Canos Prousts Deadline presents a concise history of the publishing and reception of À la recherche du temps perdu, and sorts out the most important issues that have arisen from the ensuing debates about the text. She ultimately shows how this quintessential book about time? tells another story about times passage: the story of Prousts mortal confrontation with the temporality of writing, publishing, and reading.

Published by: University of Illinois Press

Title Page

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Copyright Page

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pp. vii

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pp. ix-x

I would like to thank Martine Gantrel of Smith College and Michel Raimond of the Sorbonne, whose inspiring teaching sparked in me long ago a deep and lasting interest in Proust. Peter Brooks, who directed my doctoral dissertation on Proust at Yale University, has remained a critical...

A Note on Quotations

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pp. xi

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pp. 1-10

“Life is too short and Proust is too long”:1 Anatole France’s wry remark has long made the rounds as a humorous summing-up, and an implicit casting-off, of one of the most important and most difficult literary...

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1. Forthcoming: Announcing the Recherche

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pp. 11-30

Like most novels published in France at the beginning of the twentieth century, À la recherche du temps perdu was the object of a strategic publicity campaign designed to hook the interest of readers even before the...

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2. The Dream of Simultaneous Publication

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pp. 31-52

When Proust proposed his manuscript to various publishers in the fall of 1912, it was without committing to a published form for the work other than the very one in which he delivered it: Le Temps perdu was an enormous stack of pages, an indivisible block. He had...

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3. Organicism Gone Awry

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pp. 53-82

When Jacques Normand, in his reader’s report for Eugène Fasquelle in 1912, wrote of Proust’s meandering manuscript that “écrire vingt volumes est aussi normal que de s’arrêter à un ou à deux” (writing twenty volumes would be just as normal as stopping at one or...

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4. Grasset's Revenge

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pp. 83-114

Some nine months before his death, Proust announced to his publisher Gaston Gallimard that the Recherche had scarcely begun. “J’ai tant de livres à vous offrir qui, si je meurs avant,” he wrote in February...

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pp. 115-118

Proust’s letters to Gallimard contain frequent complaints about delays in the publication of his books, despite the fact that his perpetual revisions were themselves the cause of more than a few delays. In November...


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pp. 119-130

Works Cited

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pp. 131-136


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pp. 137-140

E-ISBN-13: 9780252090721
Print-ISBN-13: 9780252030703

Page Count: 160
Publication Year: 2006