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Sodom and Gomorrah opens a new phase of In Search of Lost Time. While watching the pollination of the Duchess de Guer-mantes’s orchid, the narrator secretly observes a sexual encounter between two men. “Flower and plant have no conscious will,” Samuel Beckett wrote of Proust’s representation of sexuality. “They are shameless, exposing their genitals. And so in a sense are Proust’s men and women . . . shameless. There is no question of right and wrong.”
For this authoritative English-language edition, D. J. Enright has revised the late Terence Kilmartin’s acclaimed reworking of C. K. Scott Moncrieff’s translation to take into account the new definitive French editions of Á la recherché du temps perdu (the final volume of these new editions was published by the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade in 1989).
About the Author
Marcel Proust was born in the Parisian suburb of Auteuil on July 10, 1871. He began work on In Search of Lost Time sometime around 1908, and the first volume, Swann’s Way, was published in 1913. In 1919 the second volume, Within a Budding Grove, won the Goncourt Prize, bringing Proust great and instantaneous fame. Two subsequent installments—The Guermantes Way (1920–21) and Sodom and Gomorrah (1921)—appeared in his lifetime. The remaining volumes were published following Proust’s death on November 18, 1922: The Captive in 1923, The Fugitive in 1925, and Time Regained in 1927.
“The thing about Proust is his combination of the utmost sensibility with the utmost tenacity. He searches out these butterfly shades to the last grain.”—Virginia Woolf