In the preceding post we featured an excerpt from the first book (Swann’s Way) of Marcel Proust’s seven part novel À la Recherche du Temps Perdu that touched upon gardening. Upon browsing the internet for comment on Proust’s work I came upon the book Magic lantern of Marcel Proust (1962) by Howard Moss that, in six chapters, discusses various aspects of the novel. They are: The Two Ways; The Gardens; The Windows; The Parties; The Steeples; The Way.
Naturally, we chose The Gardens in order to present an excerpt. The paperback edition of the book that I have seen at amazon.com (linked above) is subtitled A Critical Study of Remembrance of Things Past and that about covers it. I’ve only read The Gardens chapter that we have excerpted here but it proved quite interesting (as I hope you will find it – the entire book can be downloaded, in a variety of formats, at archive.org, here). Howard Moss was the poetry editor of The New Yorker magazine from 1948 until his death in 1987 and published a dozen or so books of poetry, plays and prose in that time. Moss’s Wikipedia page is a bit scant but more information is available at the web-site of The Poetry Foundation.
Aside from the text file, downloaded for working purposes for our excerpt, I’ve also downloaded the ePub version and will be adding it to my reader – the text file has considerable scanning errors so you might consider downloading the PDF for mobile purposes if the ePub proves too messy.
Continue reading then, below the jump, for a “critical study” of Proust’s symbolism on gardens in his monumental novel.