Goncourt Article1

   As we prophesied in our yesterday's issue, the Académie Goncourt has awarded to Marcel Proust the Prize which has been the subject of so much curiosity and competition, and for which there were no less than thirty candidates, all writers of merit. By choosing Marcel Proust the Académie has to some extent, and quite deliberately, violated the provisions of the Goncourts' will, which demanded that it encourage young writers. Monsieur Marcel Proust is forty-seven. But the superiority of his talent was so outstanding that the judges agreed to waive the question of age. A l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs, the book that has been awarded the Prize and which follows on from Du Côté de chez Swann is only the second part of an immense fresco, A la Recherche du Temps Perdu, the last parts of which, Sodome et Gomorrhe, Le Côté de Guermantes, Le Temps Retrouvé, have already been written but not yet published. We should like to add that the author of A la Recherche du Temps Perdu, a work which is by no means an autobiography as has sometimes been erroneously stated, and which authors such as Henry James and Francis Jammes have ranked alongside Cervantes and Balzac, is not a newcomer. Shortly after leaving College, he published a book entitled Les Plaisirs et le Jours, which Anatole France described as being the production of a depraved Bernardin de Saint-Pierre and an innocent Petroneus. But it is another aspect of this writer's art, marked by a totally different kind of vitality, that is responsible for A la Recherche du Temps Perdu, and also for a volume Pastches et mélanges, recently published, which, by an amusing coincidence, contains a slightly irreverent pastiche of the Goncourt brothers...

1. Written by Proust who had Léon Daudet send it to Georges Bonnamour, the editor-in-chief of L'Éclair, 9 December 1919. This is largely based on Gerard Hopkins' translation of À la Recherche de Marcel Proust, André Maurois - The Quest for Proust (incomplete). Additional material from the incomplete transcription in Essais and partial image from a sales catalogue.


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Created 17.05.23