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An Absolutely Different Life

Michael Wood: Too Proustian, 7 November 2019

Sept conférences sur Marcel Proust 
by Bernard deFallois.
Editions de Fallois, 312 pp., €20, January 2019, 978 1 03 210214 6
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Proust avant Proust Essai sur ‘Les Plaisirs et les jours’ 
by Bernard deFallois.
Les Belles Lettres, 192 pp., €21.50, May 2019, 978 2 251 44939 5
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‘Le Mystérieux Correspondant’ et autres nouvelles inédites 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Luc Fraisse.
Editions de Fallois, 174 pp., €18.50, October 2019, 978 1 03 210229 0
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... Bernard deFallois​ , a legendary French editor and publisher, died in January 2018. He worked for a long time at Hachette, and set up his own company in 1987. At one point, he was considering doing postgraduate work on Proust; he said in one of the lectures now published as Sept conférences sur Marcel Proust that he had been ‘tempted to conduct … a university exercise that one calls a thesis’, and the wording alone tells us a lot ...

Proust and the Pet Goat

Michael Wood: The Proustian Grail, 7 October 2021

Les Soixante-Quinze Feuillets: Et autres manuscrits inédits 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Nathalie Mauriac Dyer.
Gallimard, 384 pp., €21, April 2021, 978 2 07 293171 0
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... Proust’s unpublished work does not exist,’ Bernard deFallois wrote in 1954. Provocative words, since he was introducing a whole volume of such material, and two years earlier had brought out Jean Santeuil, an unfinished novel Proust worked on between 1895 and 1899. De Fallois was trying to suggest, with a little too much bravado, that all Proust’s writing, early and late, published and unpublished, should be considered part of his great novel, À la recherche du temps perdu ...

War in My Head

Michael Wood: The Céline Case, 18 August 2022

by Louis-Ferdinand Céline.
Gallimard, 184 pp., £15.35, May, 978 2 07 298322 1
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Louis-Ferdinand Céline: Journeys to the Extreme 
by Damian Catani.
Reaktion, 392 pp., £27, September 2021, 978 1 78914 467 3
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... not said – about the recovery of the Proust pages, parts of which were published in 1954 by Bernard deFallois, in whose archives the full text was discovered when he died. In the Céline case there is a lot to be said and seemingly only one secret remaining: who gave the papers to the person who made public ...

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