Prof. Antoine Compagnon
Collège de France
Rereading Proust in 2019? Whose reading? Who is reading the Recherche du temps perdu? I am celebrating fifty years of reading Proust, remembering my first reading of Proust’s novel
more than half a century ago. That sounds like a very long time. Proust died in 1922. When I read him in 1967-69, that was less than fifty years after his death. The interval, the span of
time between Proust’s death and my first reading of the Recherche was shorter than the years I have lived with Proust, alongside the Recherche, reading and rereading it all over
again, editing it, teaching it. And the cultural, epistemological context of each reading has been profoundly different. Can one recover the original emotion?
Antoine Compagnon has been professor at Columbia University since 1985 and at the Collège de France since 2006, where he holds the Chair in French Modern and Contemporary Literature..