> Skip to content
  • Published: 1 March 2021
  • ISBN: 9781590519110
  • Imprint: Other Press
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 176
  • RRP: $44.99

Proustian Uncertainties

On Reading and Rereading In Search of Lost Time



An award-winning historian revisits Marcel Proust’s masterpiece in this essay on literature and memory, exploring the question of identity—that of the novel’s narrator and Proust’s own.

In this engaging reexamination of In Search of Lost Time, Saul Friedländer considers how the narrator defines himself, how this compares to what we know of Proust himself, and what the significance is of these various points of commonality and divergence. We know, for example, that the author did not hide his homosexuality, but the narrator did. Why the difference? We know that the narrator tried to marginalize his part-Jewish background. Does this reflect the author’s position, and how does the narrator handle what he tries, but does not manage, to dismiss? These are major questions raised by the text and reflected in the text, to which the author’s life doesn’t give obvious answers. The narrator’s reflections on time, on death, on memory, and on love are as many paths leading to the image of self that he projects.

In Proustian Uncertainties, Friedländer draws on his personal experience from a life spent investigating the ties between history and memory to offer a fresh perspective on the seminal work.

  • Published: 1 March 2021
  • ISBN: 9781590519110
  • Imprint: Other Press
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 176
  • RRP: $44.99

Also by Saul Friedländer

See all

Praise for Proustian Uncertainties

Praise for Saul Friedländer:   “Friedländer describes his experiences in lean, graceful sentences; his language seems armored against the dissolution it describes.” —New York Review of Books   “[Friedländer’s] judgments are scrupulous and levelheaded. And he treats the historical controversies that have raged around so many of the topics he covers with untiring fair-mindedness…Friedländer succeeds in binding together the many different strands of his story with a sure touch. He has written a masterpiece that will endure.” —New York Times Book Review   “[Friedländer’s] intellectual discipline may be that of the historian but his writing is animated by the passion of memory that only his generation can fully express.” —The Guardian

Related titles