Blog Roll

Anecdotal Evidence
Biology of the Worst Kind
The Book Depository Editor's Corner
Book World
BOOKSURFER
Buzzwords Blog: 3AM Magazine
Castrovalva
CruelestMonth.com
Dialogic
Edward Champion's Return of the Reluctant
The Elegant Variation
Fernham
John Baker's Blog
KR Blog
languagehat.com
the Literary Saloon
Long Sunday
MadInkBeard - Updates
The Midnight Bell
Mountain*7
Nomadics
pas au-delà
The Reading Experience
scarecrow
signandsight.com
splinters: books, authors, literature, travel, politics
Spurious
Tales from the Reading Room
This Space
University of Nebraska Press
Waggish
Weblog - A Don's Life - Times Online
Weblog - Peter Stothard - Times Online
Powered by Bloglines

ReadySteadyBlog

One of the Guardian Unlimited Books' top 10 literary blogs: "A home-grown treasure ... smart, serious analysis"

The Bookaholics' Guide to Book Blogs: "Mark Thwaite ... has a maverick, independent mind"

Thursday 29 September 2005

Other People’s Letters

From a press release, from the publisher Helen Marx, concerning Other People's Letters: In Search of Proust, first published back in 1978:


Mina Curtiss, member of a prominent American family and sister of Lincoln Kirstein, the fabled ballet impresario, bravely left for post-war Europe in 1947 to assemble a volume of Marcel Proust’s letters, and wrote a detailed, straightforward memoir of her wry observations and humorous encounters. Incredibly, Mina Curtiss managed to track down and interview most of Proust’s intimate correspondents. A distinguished writer and Smith College professor, Curtiss crossed paths with notable characters including Celeste, Proust’s housekeeper and “guardian angel” from 1913 until his death, and the ambitious lothario Prince Bibesco, who uses his cache of coveted letters to seduce her. In 1951, while doing research on Georges Bizet, two years after the publication of her translation Letters of Marcel Proust, Curtiss was casually handed a group of letters—four written in Proust’s own persona, and four others in the self-assigned nom de plume of the heroine Pauline. An epistolary novel was begun in 1893 during a summer holiday by Proust and three of his classmates at the Lycée Condorcet. Although this text is absent from the bibliographies of Proust, including Phillip Kolb’s Correspondence, Curtiss generously includes this rare collection in the appendix of her Other People’s Letters, hoping other scholars would continue her research. In these youthful letters, one can find the earliest traces of what would become Proust’s most common and recurrent themes—found in Jean Santeuil and A la recherché du temps perdu.


(Also worth noting is The Proust Project (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) where 28 writers (including Shirley Hazzard, Lydia Davis, Richard Howard, Alain de Botton, Diane Johnson and Edmund White) were asked to choose and comment on their favorite passages from In Search of Lost Time.)

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Reader Comments

Add a comment

If you have not posted a comment on RSB before, it will need to be approved by the Managing Editor. Once you have an approved comment, you are safe to post further comments. We have also introduced a captcha code to prevent spam.

Name:  

Email:  

Comments:  

Enter the code shown here:  
[captcha]

Note: If you cannot read the numbers in the above image, reload the page to generate a new one.

Submit News to RSB

Please let us know about any literary-related news -- or submit press releases to RSB -- using this form.

-- Mark Thwaite, Managing Editor

Serendipoetry

Vigil

An entire night
thrown down
beside a
butchered
companion with his
grimacing
mouth turned
to the full moon
with his congested hands
thrust
into my silence
I wrote
letters full of love

I have never held
so hard
to life

-- Giuseppe Ungaretti
(Carcanet Press)

-- View archive

Word of the Day

The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or two

Pre-order Anu Garg's new book: The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or Two: The Hidden Lives and Strange Origins of Common and Not-So-Common Words (ISBN 9780452288614), published by Penguin more …

-- Powered by Wordsmith.org

October's Books of the Month

The New Spirit of Capitalism The New Spirit of Capitalism
Luc Boltanski; Eve Chiapello
Horizons Touched: The Music of ECM Horizons Touched: The Music of ECM
Steve Lake, Paul Griffiths

-- View archive