Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Classics
Pages: 152
Publication Date: November 6, 2018

Lost TimeLectures on Proust in a Soviet Prison Camp

by Józef Czapski, introduction and translated from the French by Eric Karpeles

$12.76 $15.95

Available as an e-book from these retailers
This title can be purchased from your favorite e-book retailer, including many independent booksellers.

Buy on Amazon Buy on iBooks Buy on Barnes & Noble

An NYRB Classics Original

During the Second World War, in the heart of the malevolent Soviet Union, a Polish prisoner of war brought Marcel Proust’s novel À la recherche du temps perdu to life without a single page of text available for reference. Presenting a series of lectures in an attempt to distract his fellow officers from their collective misery, Józef Czapski managed to revive the novel and his experience of reading it purely from memory. It was a clarifying moment for him, a Proustian moment. His talks were given in French, helping to focus the men’s minds and distract their thoughts from their grim surroundings.

Calling upon deep reserves of aesthetic knowledge and critical thinking in a variety of languages, Czapski offered aspects of Proust’s story, like Scheherazade, night after night. His lectures are a testament to the survival of memories of both worlds woven together, the fictional Faubourg Saint-Germain and the actual Soviet prison camp.