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Marcel Proust, French novelist best known for his monumental 3,000-page masterpiece, À la recherche du temps perdu (‘Remembrance of Things Past’ or ‘In Search of Lost Time’), a pseudo-autobiographical novel told mostly in a stream-of-consciousness style.
See the fact file below for more information on the Marcel Proust or alternatively, you can download our 22-page Marcel Proust worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Birth and Childhood
- Proust was born Valentine Louis Georges Eugène Marcel in Auteuil, Paris into an upper middle class family on July 10, 1871.
- His father, Dr. Adrien Proust, was a renowned pathologist as well as an author of many medical books. Marcel’s mother, Jeanne Weil, hailed from an elite Jewish family. She was well-educated and loved the great classic writers of the 17th century, especially Molière and Racine.
- Proust studied at the Lycée Condorcet but his asthmatic condition prevented his attendance at school as a regular student. He persevered and performed prominently, particularly in literature; he even received an award in his final year.
- Despite poor health, Proust served in the Army from 1882 to 1889 and studied law at École des Sciences Politiques from 1891-1893.
- Proust contributed to the Symbolist magazines and moved in social circles with rich and famous Parisian aristocrats. He published his first book entitled, Les Plaisirs et les Jours, a collection of essays, short stories, and poems, in 1896. Although Proust began writing a novel, Jean Santeuil, in 1895, he abandoned the project in 1899.
- After the unsuccessful attempt of writing a novel, Proust spent several years writing translations and annotating the works of the English art historian, John Ruskin.
- His mother’s death in September, 1905, halted Proust’s literary activities for a few months. He subsequently published an article, Sentiments filiaux d’un parricide in Le Figaro, focusing on analyzing memory and guilt (which later became the most important elements in Proust’s literary approach).
- 1908 proved to be an important year for Proust in terms of his literary endeavors. He continued to write a series of pastiches of other writers in Le Figaro and strengthened his writing style further. He wrote additional essays, articles, and short stories, gradually combining and developing them into a single publication.
- In 1909, Proust converted his essay, Contre Sainte-Beuve into a novel and, in 1913, adopted the title, À la recherche du temps perdu (“In Search of Lost Time”). Proust continued working on this novel for the rest of his life.
- Côté de chez Swann (“Swann’s Way”), the first volume of In Search of Lost Time, was published in November 1913. The fourth printing was planned when World War I broke out.
- The second volume, À l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs (“Within a Budding Grove”) followed in 1919 and was awarded the Prix Goncourt, France’s most prestigious literary prize.
- Proust saw the publication of Le côté de Guermantes I (“The Guermantes Way”) in 1920 and the Sodome et Gomorrhe (“Sodom and Gomorrah”) series in 1921 and 1922.
Death and Legacy
- On November 18, 1922, Proust died of pneumonia, leaving behind three more volumes of the novel. Although these were not completely revised, La Prisonnière (“The Captive”), Albertine disparue (“The Fugitive”) and Le Temps retrouvé (“Time Regained”) were published by his brother, Robert in 1923, 1925 and 1927, respectively.
- The main themes of Proust’s masterpieces are time and memory and the power of art to withstand the destructive forces of time.
- Proust is remembered as one of the finest French novelists of the 20th century. His writing style consisted of long sentences (some of which extended to several pages in length) and has greatly influenced both his readers and other writers over time.
Marcel Proust Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Marcel Proust across 22 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Marcel Proust worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Marcel Proust, French novelist best known for his monumental 3,000-page masterpiece, À la recherche du temps perdu (‘Remembrance of Things Past’ or ‘In Search of Lost Time’), a pseudo-autobiographical novel told mostly in a stream-of-consciousness style.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Authors Online
- Following Marcel
- Marcel Speaks
- Library Hunt
- Judge by the Cover
- Grand Prix
- Proust Qs
- Size Does Matter
- Madeleine Memories
- What’s in a Name
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Link will appear as Marcel Proust Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, June 6, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.