Newly dis­cov­ered Proust novel­las to be pub­lished in Oc­to­ber

Global Times US Edition - - LIFE -

Fans of French lit­er­ary gi­ant Mar­cel Proust will soon have the chance to read nine novel­las from early in his ca­reer that were only un­earthed in 2018, the Fal­lois pub­lish­ing house said Monday.

The nine texts by the au­thor of Swann’s Way were orig­i­nally to be part of his first book, Les Plaisirs et les Jours (Pleasures and Days), a col­lec­tion of po­ems and short sto­ries pub­lished in 1896.

But Proust, who was still in his 20s, later de­cided not to in­clude them.

They were un­cov­ered by the pub­lish­ing house’s founder Bernard de Fal­lois, a noted Proust spe­cial­ist who died in 2018.

It will is­sue the col­lec­tion on Oc­to­ber 9 un­der the ti­tle The Mys­te­ri­ous Cor­re­spon­dent and Other Un­pub­lished Novel­las.

“With this di­verse col­lec­tion of pre­vi­ously un­pub­lished novel­las and texts, we dis­cover the sources of Swann’s Way,” the house said in a state­ment.

Fal­lois had pre­vi­ously dis­cov­ered a Proust novel that went un­pub­lished in his life­time, Jean San­teuil, as well as an un­fin­ished text called Con­tre Sainte-beuve. Both were even­tu­ally pub­lished in the 1950s.

Proust, who died in 1922 at the age of 51, has been hugely in­flu­en­tial for sub­se­quent gen­er­a­tions of au­thors, in par­tic­u­lar for the mas­ter­piece In Search of Lost Time, also called Re­mem­brance of Things Past, the first vol­ume of the Swann works.

A copy of that book, ded­i­cated by Proust to his lover, sold at auc­tion in De­cem­ber 2018 for 1.51 mil­lion eu­ros ($1.7 mil­lion), a record for a French book.

The new­found texts show a young writer dab­bling in new nar­ra­tive tech­niques while ex­plor­ing such risque themes for the era as physical love and ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity.

“Be­cause of their au­dac­ity, he prob­a­bly thought they would of­fend a so­cial mi­lieu dom­i­nated by tra­di­tional moral forces,” the pub­lisher said.

The 180-page col­lec­tion will in­clude fac­sim­i­les of the orig­i­nal texts as well as anal­y­sis and cri­tiques. bi­mengy­[email protected] glob­al­times.com.cn

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