Publishing Proust

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Proust’s DeadlineProust’s Deadline
by Christine M. Cano
University of Illinois Press
160 pages, $35.

 

CHRISTINE M. CANO begins her fascinating book on just how Proust’s novel was published with a remark by Anatole France that seems doubly cruel, considering that Proust had once considered France his mentor: “Life is too short, and Proust is too long.” However, that is how many people regarded In Search of Lost Time when Proust tried to find a publisher for his enormous manuscript in the fall of 1912. One editor famously groused that he did not see how anyone could write so many pages about a man trying to fall asleep at night. Gide turned it down. Proust was finally forced to pay for publication himself.

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