Thursday, October 25, 2012

"The Lemoine Affair" by Marcel Proust


I came upon this book by accident because I was interested in reading about the con-artist Henri Lemoine, who swindled the diamond company De Beers as well as the author of this book, Marcel Proust.  You think this would be either a work of a journalist (Proust) commenting on the crime, or a sort of a true-crime narrative, but this is ...without a doubt Marcel Proust.

What we have here is Lemoine as a subject matter, but Proust choses to riff on the idea of this con-artist as literature written by Flaubert, Galzac, and Saint-Simon.  So its a parody, but also a lit-crit book on the side.  In other words it is very much of an eccentric little book by the master.   Without a doubt a must for the Proust fanatic, and after all, this is the first English translation of this small, but interesting work of literature. 


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