André Aciman is the author of the novels Eight White Nights and Call Me by Your Name, the nonfiction works Out of Egypt and False Papers, and is the editor of The Proust Project. He teaches comparative literature at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.


Far from Proust’s Way

In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower

by Marcel Proust, translated from the French by James Grieve
The six volumes of the new Viking Penguin translation of Proust received rave reviews in England. And yet the titles of the first two volumes approach monstrosity. Du côté de chez Swann, traditionally translated—despite Proust’s initial objection—as Swann’s Way, appeared in England as The Way by Swann, which echoes something …

Proust’s Way?

Swann's Way

by Marcel Proust, translated from the French by Lydia Davis
We’ll say there are two kinds of novelists: the snail and the swallow. The swallow is quick, agile, and able to speed across long, tireless stretches. Nothing a swallow does goes wrong; mistaken turns are instantly corrected, bad weather is put to good use, and poor judgment can be tweaked …

Proust’s Sister Soul

In April of 1984 both The New York Times and Le Monde ran obituaries announcing the death of Céleste Albaret. News of the death of the ninety-two-year-old Frenchwoman who had attained world fame in her early eighties for her memoir Monsieur Proust brought woeful reminders to literary communities on both …

Proust Regained

Marcel Proust: A Life

by Jean-Yves Tadié

Marcel Proust: A Life

by William Carter
Marcel Proust was unusual in this as well: he turned every moment, from the most rarefied to the most ordinary, into an occasion for boundless introspection. He took the private temperament and mental habits of someone accustomed to prolonged solitude and applied them to the world around him, giving, as …

Out of Novemberland

The Rings of Saturn

by W.G. Sebald, translated by Michael Hulse
And so they are ever returning to us, the dead. The words with which W.G. Sebald closes the first tale of The Emigrants, a volume of four tales published less than two years ago, have, like everything else Sebald writes, a somber, cadenced, liturgical sound to them. They evoke resigned …

Shadow Cities

On a late spring morning almost two years ago, while walking on Broadway, I suddenly noticed that something terrible had happened to Straus Park. The small park, located just where Broadway intersects West End Avenue on West 106th Street, was being fenced off. A group of workers, wearing orange reflector …