Marcel Proust Long Fiction Analysis
Like Gustave Flaubert, Marcel Proust believed that of all literary forms, the novel most fully reveals the temperament of its writer. As George Painter’s exhaustive biography of Proust demonstrates, there are innumerable, indeed seemingly endless, parallels between the lives of Marcel Proust and Marcel, the narrator of Remembrance of Things Past.
Remembrance of Things Past
While the novel reveals much of Proust’s character and values, it is not an autobiography but a work of fiction in which the raw materials of personal experience and remembrance are transformed by the imagination into art of the highest order. Rather than yield to the temptation of a biographical reading of the novel, it is perhaps more profitable to concentrate on the development of the themes and to note the techniques that Proust employs to create his vision of humankind in their emotional, moral, and aesthetic worlds.
Like Dante and Honoré de Balzac before him, Proust creates a vast and teeming world, depicting the immense social changes that took place in French life between the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 and the post-World War I era. While Remembrance of Things Past focuses on the wealthy bourgeois and nobility of Paris, it by no means excludes other classes. The detailed and sympathetic characterizations of Jupien the tailor, Françoise, and Aimé, the headwaiter at the Grand Hotel, testify to the social range of...
(The entire section is 12224 words.)
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