Edition set up by Jérôme Bastianelli
On one side we have the sickly dandy who revolutionized literature, on the other the Gothic Renaissance paladin and great defender of the Preraphaelites. Their language and times separate them: John Ruskin died in 1900, at the time young Proust developed a passion for his writings, which he discovered as early as 1893 in the Bulletin de l’Union pour l’action morale). But they are united by so many shared ideas that an exegete saw Ruskin as Proust’s "prophet", foreshadowing a number of themes, from the taste for painting to the "culturel" trip, from the central role of memory to the dislike for sports. It was only natural then that Proust push that passion so far as to translate two works of the British writer, The Bible of Amiens, on the famous cathedral, and Sesame and Lilies, an ode to reading. The scholarly notes allow the reader to draw the links between the two men, showing in detail their shared passion for hawthorn or for Rembrandt, and underlining Proust’s quest for perfection. Proust the translater took his work very seriously, writing to famous specialists, such as professor Emile Picot from the School of Oriental languages, to ask him about the etymology of the city of Eisenach.
Review published in the newsletter #389 - from 21 May 2015 to 27 May 2015