A conversation with Antoine Compagnon and Christopher Prendergast, chaired by Louise Ferris.
Everything in Proust’s work seems to be marked by yesterday’s world, to use Stefan Zweig’s words. And yet, there is a kind of eternal youthfulness in his masterful oeuvre À la Recherche du temps perdu, which is the hallmark of great works. What is the reason for this, a century after its publication? What does this voice of yesterday tell us in today’s world?
Two distinguished Proust experts, Antoine Compagnon (Collège de France) and Christopher Prendergast (University of Cambridge) discuss these matters with Louise Ferris (University of Oxford).
As part of the 150th Anniversary of the birth of Marcel Proust
You can find Antoine Compagnon’s previous book here: A Summer with Montaigne, (2019) published at Europa Editions
Antoine Compagnon has been Professor of Modern and Contemporary French Literature: history, criticism, and theory at the Collège de France since 2006. He has published editions of Proust, Du côté de chez Swann (Gallimard, “Folio”, 1988), Sodome et Gomorrhe (Gallimard, “Pléiade”, 1988, and “Folio”, 1989) and Carnets, (collaboration) (Gallimard, 2002). He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Academia Europaea, corresponding member of the British Academy, and Doctor honoris causa of King’s College, London. He is also a Knight of the Legion of Honor and Commander of the Academic Awards.
Christopher Prendergast is Professor Emeritus at the University of Cambridge; Fellow at King’s College Cambridge; Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Science; General Editor for the Penguin Translation of À La recherche du temps perdu, 2002. He notably wrote Mirages and Mad Beliefs. Proust the Skeptic, 2013 and Living and Dying with Marcel Proust to be published in January 2022.
Louise Ferris is a PhD student at the University of Oxford. Her research explores the relationship between Marcel Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu and the breaking down of the distinction between the self and world in the works of Jacques Derrida, Jean-Luc Nancy and Catherine Malabou.