Marcel Proust: Selected Letters Volume 4 1918-1921 by Philip Kolb available soon at the excellent BookLovers of Bath web site!
London: HarperCollinsPublishers, 2000, Hardback in dust wrapper.
From the cover: This final volume of the selected letters of Marcel Proust brings to an end an unbroken correspondence lasting forty-two years, and among the most brilliantly analytical commentaries on any period in world literature. It opens a few months before the last campaigns of the First World War and ends with Prousts premature death, at the age of fifty-two, in November 1922.
In his last years, ill and aware that death was fast approaching, Proust seldom left his apartment, working desperately to revise and complete his great novel, In Search of Lost Time, and to oversee the tortuous publication of its first volumes. Yet, although his illness and absolute dedication to his work meant that his range of human contacts previously so broad became increasingly constricted, Proust remained a prolific and brilliant correspondent until the very end. Through his letters he reached out to his wide circle of friends and acquaintances, to critics and fellow writers, and those letters vividly demonstrate that his great humanity, wit and linguistic virtuosity remained undimmed by his isolation and failing health. They provide an unrivalled picture of post-war French society by an enlightened and often prophetic observer, and reveal, among other things, why Proust was such a great comic writer.
As Joanna Kilmartin observes in her introduction to this volume, Proust is as good company in his letters as he was in life: droll, mischievous, mercurial, his self-deprecation and ceremonious manners masking a formidable erudition. These frank, often tormented letters, never intended for publication, lay bare and explore the complexity of Prousts own character and, above all, those of his great fictional creations. The publication of his selected letters in English completes the remarkable self-portrait provided by In Search of Lost Time.
Introduction by: Joanna Kilmartin, Alain de Botton & Jocelyne Kolb
Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Gently faded at the spine of the dust wrapper. Edges of the text block tanned. Pages lightly age-tanned.
Navy Blue boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. [XXX] 498 pages. Index. 9½” x 6¼”.