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The Magic Lantern of Marcel Proust: A Critical Study of Remembrance of Things Pastby Howard Moss
Synopses & Reviews
"[The Magic Lantern of Marcel Proust] reduces the ungainly and intricately designed masterpiece to its shape, and with hardly a wasted word...The paragraphs on habit and memory are truly wonderful—wonderful as explication, as psychology, and as philosophy."—John Updike
"Almost everything Moss says seems to me right, illuminating, and new. This is the book of a mature and individual mind and sensibility, with a deep experience of moral, social, psychological, and aesthetic values which is rare among critics." —George D. Painter
"A moving and inspiring book. Moss clears away dark corners, clarifies motivations, and places the huge work within the reader's perspective. A book of great value to the scholar and the general reader." —Publishers Weekly
"Remembrance of Things Past is more than a novel; it is a work in which a single person's life is transformed into a mythology, with its own pantheon of gods, its own religious rituals, and its own moral laws. A total vision, it does not rely on any system outside itself for support. It is as if Dante had set out to write the Paradiso and the Inferno utilizing only the facts of his own existence without any reference to Christianity...Other novelists describe or invent worlds. Remembrance of Things Past is an entire universe created and interpreted by Marcel Proust." — from Chapter 1
"Moss lays out the sweeping claims and overarching structure of Remembrance of Things Past—the significance of Swann's Way and the Guermantes Way, or why there are such long party scenes—and is equally good at bringing to light all sorts of tiny, revealing details." — from the new Foreword by Damion Searls
Howard Moss was poetry editor of the New Yorker for almost forty years. He also wrote more than a dozen books of poetry, plays, criticism, and a book of arch parody-microbiographies of cultural figures, Instant Lives, illustrated by Edward Gorey.
Damion Searls is the author of What We Were Doing and Where We Were Going (stories) and has written for Harpers, Bookforum, n+1, and The Believer. As a translator—of authors including Marcel Proust (On Reading)—he received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2012.
Read Moss on Proust before starting In Search of Lost Time; after finishing it; or any time while reading it.
"A moving and inspiring book."—Publishers Weekly
In this short, straightforward, and beautifully written guide, Howard Moss deploys just the right touch of allure and explanation to enrich any reader's experience of Marcel Proust's great novel. Moss deftly describes the book's intricate form and recurrent themes, turning complications into pleasures to be enjoyed (rather than puzzles to be suffered).
Read Moss on Proust before starting In Search of Lost Time, after finishing it, or any time in between.
Howard Moss was poetry editor of The New Yorker from 1948 until his death in 1987. He won the National Book Award in 1972 for Selected Poems.
About the Author
Howard Moss was poetry editor of the New Yorker from 1948 until his death in 1987. He won the National Book Award in 1972 for Selected Poems.
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