A Complete Set of First Editions in Fine Condition
PROUST, Marcel. A la Recherche du Temps Perdu. Bernard Grasset
A complete set of first editions, first issues besides the first volume which is a second issue. Second issue of Du Côté de Chez Swann, with the date 1913 on the front wrapper and 1914 on the title-page, with the table of contents, and correct date [8 November 1913 as issued], and with 8 pp. of ads at the end. [8], 523, [1, blank], [3, table of contents], [1, printer’s imprint], [8, ads] pp. (Swann's Way, published by Grasset and no indication of later edition on title). Together thirteen octavo volumes. All volumes numbered on "Velin pur fil" except for A l’Ombre des Jeunes Filles en Fleurs, as there was no numbered print for this volume. Original glassine on all volumes.

The set comprises: Du Côté de Chez Swann; A l’Ombre des Jeunes Filles en Fleurs; Le Côté de Guermantes I, one of 800 numbered copies for the Amis de L’Édition Originale (#572); Le Côté de Guermantes II [and] Sodome et Gomorrhe I, one of 800 numbered copies for the Amis de L’Édition Originale (#734); Sodome et Gomorrhe II (three volumes), one of 850 numbered copies for the Amis de L’Édition Originale (#568, 389, 568); La Prisonnière (two volumes), one of 875 numbered copies for the Amis de L’Édition Originale (#252, 524); Albertine Disparue (two volumes), one of 1,200 numbered copies for the Amis de L’Édition Originale (#521, 839); and Le Temps Retrouvé (two volumes), one of 1,230 numbered copies where 30copies are "et trente exemplaires d'auteur, hors commerce" (For the author, not for sale, these both being #1230).

Original buff wrappers printed in red and black. Du Côté de Chez Swann in yellow wrappers, printed in black. Swann's way chemised and housed in a cardboard slipcase. A couple of volumes slightly sunned on spines. Sodome et Gomorrhe with some very minor foxing. All volumes in glassine. All fine copies.

“Du côté de chez Swann is the first volume of Proust’s monumental opus A la recherche du temps perdu, the most important French novel of the twentieth century and a masterpiece of European literature. This first volume described the narrator’s childhood and contains the celebrated madeleine episode. Publication of subsequent volumes was interrupted by the war. This novel, famously turned by Gide for the N.R.F, was published at the author’s expense by Grasset. By 1918 the N.R.F had realised its huge blunder and published A l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs, which won the Prix Goncourt and established Proust as a major literature figure” (From Stendhal to René Char: Le Cabinet de livres de Renaud Gillet, Sotheby’s, 27 October 1999, lot 64).

“Translated by Scott Moncreiff as Swann’s Way etc., Proust’s great novel A la recherche du temps perdu is something that happens once in a hundred years like Les Fleurs du Mal or War and Peace. He combined tragic poetical insight with the gift of creating comic characters in the round, like Shakespeare. He is consistently both intelligent and poetic. Bergsonian philosophy of time gives depth, Ruskinian aesthetics texture. Embittered by his homosexual bias and disabling asthma, he shows some deterioration in the unrevised volumes though not enough to upset this magisterially executed conception of a master-mind in which art erects its monument to dead loves using for material only thought and the passage of time. ‘It appeals to our sense of wonder and gains our hommage by its veiled greatness. I don’t think there ever has been in the whole of literature such an example of the power of analysis’ (Conrad)” (Connolly, The Modern Movement).

BN, Proust, 402, 445, 484, 489, 531, 533, and 536. Connolly, The Modern Movement, 23. Connolly 23.

HBS # 68469 $28,500