Marcel Proust (1871-1922): Works in French
Bibliothèque de la Pléiade
A la Recherche du temps perdu byPublication Date: 1987The most authoritative, complete, and current critical edition of Proust's novel in French, the "new" Pléiade includes extensive selections from Proust's unpublished manuscripts and notebooks. Although it does not aim to present a genuinely 'genetic' edition and its inclusion of unpublished material has proven a source of controversy in the scholarly community since its original publication, the Tadié Pléiade still offers the best and most expertly edited French text available. The edition comprises volumes 100-102 and 356 of the Pléiade series and presents the text of the novel according to the following scheme:
Vol. 1: Du côté de chez Swann. À l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs, part I. Esquisses.
Vol. 2: A l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs, part II. Le côté de Guermantes. Esquisses.
Vol. 3: Sodome et Gomorrhe. La prisonnière. Esquisses.
Vol. 4: Albertine disparue. Le temps retrouvé. Esquisses.
A la Recherche du temps perdu byThe original critical edition of Proust's novel, published in volumes 100-102 of the Pléiade. While this edition corrects many of the numerous errors of the original NRF edition, a host of discoveries have been made since its publication with significant bearing on the structure and shape of the text, of which this edition by necessity does not take account. It presents the text of the novel in three volumes according to the following scheme:
Vol. 1: Du côté de chez Swann. A l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs.
Vol. 2: Le côté de Guermantes. Sodome et Gomorrhe.
Vol. 3: La prisonnière. La fugitive. Le temps retrouvé.
Jean Santeuil. Précédé de Les plaisirs et les jours byAn astonishing manuscript was discovered in an attic after the Second World War: Jean Santeuil, an incomplete draft novel Proust wrote in the years of his writerly apprenticeship which, much like A la Recherche du temps perdu, recounts the artistic and sentimental education of a young aspiring writer. This Pléiade volume, no. 228, also offers Proust's first published book, Les Plaisirs et les jours (Pleasures and Days), a collection of stories and sketches dealing in passion, betrayal, and disillusionment, composed very much in the decadent, fin-de-siècle manner in vogue among Proust's then-contemporaries, but bearing subtle signs of the brilliant masterpiece he would eventually create.
Contre Sainte-Beuve. Précédé de Pastiches et mélanges et suivi de Essais et articles byThe fragmentary texts collected and published under the title Contre Sainte-Beuve (Against Sainte-Beuve) represent Proust's first efforts towards defining the form and content of his future novel. As the title suggests, they receive their initial impetus from efforts Proust made to counter certain ideas in the widely influential literary criticism of Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve, initially expressed in essayistic and argumentative form. As Proust worked on his fragments and drafts, however, he gradually discovered the expansiveness of his vision required the supporting framework of a novelistic narrative; his efforts in this new direction ultimately developed into the Recherche - and the rest, as they say, is history. This 229th volume in the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade also includes Proust's famous pastiches - brilliant stylistic exercises imitating the writings of classic and contemporary authors - as well as a collection of occasional essays and articles Proust wrote on literature, art, and music and published in journals and newspapers during his lifetime.
Other Editions of Proust in French
The Folio Classique series (pictured above), published by Gallimard, offers the complete text of Proust's novel with each volume edited and introduced by an accomplished French scholar of Proust's work. Folio Classique also offers a selection of Proust's earlier minor works in attractive paperbacks, as well as an edition of Un amour de Swann (Swann in Love), the second part of Du côté de chez Swann (Swann's Way), which is often read and taught as an approachable and self-contained unit easily excerpted from Proust's novel. The Garnier Flammarion edition (pictured below) offers the text of Proust's novel at a comparable level of quality, though in slightly greater quantity: ten volumes to Folio's seven. The series as a whole is edited by Jean Milly.