Marcel Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu was produced in momentous times. As an extended textual construction, first conceived of in 1908 and the last tranche of which appeared posthumously almost two decades later, Proust's novel was assembled against a backdrop of major historical events: pre-war tensions in the wake of the Dreyfus Affair and the Separation of Church and State (issues on which Proust had campaigned publicly); the First World Warand the atmosphere of narrow nationalism and Germanophobia which the conflict generated; and the continuing polarization in class politics in the years after the First World War. These all find echoes in A larecherche and Hughes establishes how the exposure given to questions of class and nation needs to be understood historically. Hughes shows Proust to be an author who both shared the social prejudices of his day and demonstrated a keen sense of detachment from them.
Edward J. Hughes here seeks to assess how Proust and his novel 'A la Recherche du Temps Perdu' might be understood in relation to issues of class and nation.
Author: Edward J. Hughes
Publisher: Oxford University Press