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By Steve Bachmann

Illustrations By Van Howell

Foreword by Harold Augenbraum


Literature & Fiction/ History & Criticism/ French

ISBN-13: 978-1-939994-44-8
Price: US $15.95
6x9, 184 pp
eBook ISBN: 978-1-939994-45-5
eBook Price: US $15.95
May 17, 2016

B/W Illustrations

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Meet French novelist Marcel Proust—author of the modernist classic In Search of Lost Time (A la recherche du temps perdu,1913–1927)—in this richly illustrated biography, concise reading guide, and critical review. With uncommon clarity and insight, author Steve Bachmann peels away the layers from one of the most difficult yet widely taught works of French literature. An endless assortment of cartoons, caricatures, and artistic renderings by Van Howell portray Proust, his milieu, the people in his life, and the vast realms of his literary imagination.

With extensive passages from In Search of Lost Time and other essential works, Proust For Beginners highlights the defining themes and unique literary style of a modern master whom many have heard of but few fully fathom. In the end, it brings to life the “Proustian moments” at the heart of his greatest work and in our own everyday experience.

Proust’s masterpiece “begins in a series of rooms in which he unlocks themes, styles, references, and foreshadows,” writes Harold Augenbraum in the foreword. “Proust For Beginners will provide the key.”


Steve Bachmann is an author, former attorney, founder of the “New Orleans Art Review,” and Proust enthusiast. Previous works include The Harvardwood Introduction to Proust (2013), Extreme Proust: Philosophy of the “Madeleine Moment” (2007), and U.S. Constitution For Beginners (2012). At this time this book was published, Steve was alive and well and living in France.


Van Howell is a labor organizer, tree-hugger, and crusading publisher who has drawn cartoons for The Wall Street Journal, N.Y. Times, Daily News, Newsday, AdWeek, Rat Subterranean News, Random House, Lincoln Center, and the Guardian (UK). He has exhibited with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in London and the Society of Illustrators in New York.


"Proust For Beginners is, as a primer on the life and work of Marcel Proust, admirably comprehensive, at times quirky and deliberately provocative. Steve Bachmann has amassed a bounty of fascinating—and useful—information about the history, politics, and art surrounding the creation of Proust’s fictional world. The book’s rich content and engaging style will provide the curious “beginner” with an excellent introduction to one of the world’s greatest literary works."

—William C. Carter, author of Marcel Proust: A Life, and other definitive studies; editor of the website; and Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Alabama at Birmingham

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