To call, A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu, a monumental novel would be something of an understatement. In seven volumes, consisting of more than 3,200 pages, around 2,000 different characters are introduced to the reader. Proust was unable to complete the work during his lifetime and the three final volumes were published after his death.
Great names in writing, such as Virginia Wolf and Somerset Maugham, highlight Proust as the greatest writer of all time. His magnum opus is frequently cited as the benchmark for literary excellence. Proust’s style moved away from plot driven books that had been the norm previously, and towards a hugely expansive description of thoughts and memories. The book’s most famous episode highlights this approach, as the narrator is sent on a lengthy, involuntary journey of reminiscence of long forgotten memories, all from the simple act of a Madeleine biscuit being dipped in tea.
In collecting this great work there are a number of English language versions to consider as well as the original French text. Initially translated as, Remembrance of Things Past, volumeswere first published serially throughout the 1920s. Translations in the 1990s adapted the title to, In Search of Lost Time, and this is the name used subsequently. French language first editions of the book have been sold for $8,000 or more at auction.
While Proust produced other work such as his posthumously published novel, Jean Santeuil, and numerous translations and essays, it is for Recherche that he will always be remembered.
Proust, Marcel. Les Plaisirs et les Jours. Calmann-Levy, Paris (1896). Illustrations de Madeleine Lemaire Preface d?Anatole France et Quatre pieces pour piano de Reynaldo Hahn.
Proust, Marcel. Remembrance of Things Past. Chatto and Windus/Alfred A. Knopf, London (1922). Swann's Way; Within a Budding Grove; The Guermantes Way; Cities of the Plain; The Captive; The Sweet Cheat Gone; Time Regained; Translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff, then (the last title) by Stephen Hudson; Seven parts in eleven volumes; Cities of the Plain is limited to 2230 copies, and Time Regained to 1300 copies
Proust, Marcel. Six lettres de Marcel Proust. Ducros et Colas, PARIS (1929). 350 copies printed.
Proust, Marcel. Six lettres de Marcel Proust. Manuel Bruker, Paris (1929). Introduction de Louis-Martin Chauffier; 305 copies printed.
Proust, Marcel. 47 unpublished letters from Marcel Proust to Walter Berry. Black Sun, Paris (1930). Edition limited to 250 copies; All the letters have been translated into English by Harry and Caresse Crosby
Proust, Marcel. Time Regained. Chatto and Windus, London (1931). Translated by Stephen Hudson [pseudonym of Sydney Schiff; 1300 copies
Proust, Marcel. Jean Santeuil. Nouvelle Revue Francaise, Gallimard, Paris (1952). Preface d'Andre Maurois 3 volumes; 2050 copies.
Atget, Eugene. A Vision of Paris. MacMillan Publishing Co., New York (1963). Marcel Proust; Arthur D. Trottenberg; the Photographs of Eugene Atget; the Words of Marcel Proust
Proust, Marcel. Paris du temps perdu. Edita Lausanne, Paris, France (1963). Photographs by Eugene Atget; Text by Marcel Proust; Introduction by Arthur D. Trottenberg; 300 copies printed.
Proust, Marcel. En Busca del Tiempo Perdido. Santiago Rueda, Madrid (1980). Albertina ha Desaparecido; Marcelo Menasche tr.
Proust, Marcel. Matinee chez la Princesse de Guermantes. Gallimard, Paris (1982). Cahiers du temps retrouve; Henri Bonnet, Bernard Brun
Proust, Marcel. Correspondance. Paris, Gallimard (1989). Gaston GALLIMARD; Edition etablie, presentee et annotee par Pascal Fouche; 87 copies.
Proust, Marcel. UN AMOUR DE SWANN. Nouvelle Librairie de France, Guy-Victor Labat (1997). 74 illustrations de Jean-Louis MORELLE 1 volume in-4 relie pleine peau sous coffrets toiles, 347 pages, 74 illustrations en couleurs de Jean-Louis Morelle; 500 copies printed.
Proust, Marcel. In Search of Lost Time. Folio Society, London (2001). Translated by C.K.Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin; Vol. 1: Swann's Way. Vol.2: Within a Budding Grove. Vol.3: The Guermantes Way. Vol.4: Sodom and Gomorrah. Vol.5: The Captive. Vol. 6: The Fugitive Time Regained; 6 volumes.