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Proust: The Search Preview
October 27, 2015
224 P., 5 3/4 x 8 1/4
9780300164169

Proust: The Search

by Benjamin Taylor

Marcel Proust came into his own as a novelist comparatively late in life, yet only Shakespeare, Balzac, Dickens, Tolstoy, and Dostoyevsky were his equals when it came to creating characters as memorably human. As biographer Benjamin Taylor suggests, before writing In Search of Lost Time, his multivolume masterwork, Proust was a literary lightweight, but, following a series of momentous historical and personal events, he became—against all expectations—one of the greatest writers of his, and indeed any, era. This insightful, beautifully written biography examines Proust’s artistic growth and stunning metamorphosis in the context of his times. Taylor provides an in-depth study of the author’s life while exploring how Proust’s personal correspondence and published works were greatly informed by his mother’s Judaism, his homosexuality, and such dramatic historical events as the Dreyfus Affair and, above all, the First World War. Benjamin Taylor is a founding member of the Graduate Writing Program faculty at the New School and the author or editor of six previous books, including The Book of Getting Even and Saul Bellow: Letters.

AUTHOR EVENTS

February 14, 2016 11 am NEW YORK, 92nd St Y For more information, CLICK HERE


Feature Review: 

"Benjamin Taylor’s Proust is a marvel of brief biography, reanimating the hapless, almost Chaplinesque figure who by all logic should never have accomplished what he did." New York Times Book Review

"Benjamin Taylor’s Proust: The Search is a marvel of brief biography, reanimating the hapless, almost Chaplinesque figure who by all logic should never have accomplished what he did. With a kind of worldly tenderness, Taylor shows Proust’s work accruing amid personal pratfalls, French anti-Semitism and the catastrophe of World War I."--Thomas Mallon, on the best book he read this year, New York Times Book Review

“Taylor’s loose, multi-clausal sentences are as bendy as the master’s, and there is the same shimmery quality to the prose, like sunlight glancing off a shallow Normandy sea.”—Kathryn Hughes, Guardian

“Deeply researched, and immensely well considered, Benjamin Taylor’s own search is an outstanding addition to Proust studies.”—Robert McCrum, The Observer

“This engaging book, invitingly elegant to handle with it’s beautiful deckle-edged pages, should encourage those who have quailed at the thought of Proust’s colossus to have another go.”—John Carey, Sunday Times

“Taylor’s endeavor is not to explain the life by the novel or the novel by the life but to show how different events, different emotional upheavals, fired Proust’s imagination and, albeit sometimes completely transformed, appeared in his work. The result is a very subtle, thought-provoking book.”—Anka Muhlstein, author of Balzac’s Omelette and Monsieur Proust’s Library

“Those who found reading Proust too grand an undertaking over the years because of distractions and deficiencies of their own, might well rush to reconsider after confronting this dazzlingly elegant biography.”—Philip Roth

"A sensitive study of literature's favorite neurasthenic... Readers of Proust will be fascinated to find clues as to who his characters were in real life, and they should be moved to appreciation by Taylor's assessment of Proust's accomplishment...A densely packed and rewarding book."--Kirkus Reviews

"In this concise and elegant biography, Benjamin Taylor ably illustrates how Proust absorbed the life around him and transformed it into immortal art."-- Jewish Book Council

“Taylor expertly deconstructs where the similarities between Proust's fictional self and real-life self begin and end….A deep analysis of Proust's masterpiece and a biography of Proust the man, Taylor proves, are one and the same.”—Shelf Awareness

Benjamin Taylor

Benjamin Taylor
Joanna Eldredge Morrisey

Benjamin Taylor is a founding member of the Graduate Writing Program faculty at the New School and the author or editor of six previous books, including The Book of Getting Even and Saul Bellow: Letters.

February 11, 2016 NEW YORK 92nd Street Y (11:00 am) For More Information CLICK HERE

Marcel Proust went from dilettante to literary legend. Biographer Benjamin Taylor explains how in his conversation with Tablet's Sara Ivry
CLICK HERE