Paris: Bernard Grasset, 1914.
A La Recherche du Temps Perdu. Paris: Bernard Grasset, 1914 [i.e., 1913]; Éditions de la Nouvelle Revue Française, -1927.
A complete set of first editions. First issue of Du Cots de Chez Swann, with the date 1913 on the front wrapper and 1914 on the title-page, printer's imprint dated "le huit novembre mil neuf cent treize" on the verso of p. 523, and with 8 pp. of ads at the end. With the printer's misprint on the title-page and no table of contents. , 523, [1, printer's imprint], [8, ads] pp. (Swann's Way). Together thirteen octavo volumes. Original glassine on all volumes. All volumes numbered on except for A l'Ombre des Jeunes Filles en Fleurs, as there was no numbered print for this volume.
"A l'ombre des Jeunes Filles en Fleurs" is first edition on regular paper (after 64 large paper copies); all other volumes are in numbered first edition, bearing the indication "Edition originale" on the cover.
The set comprises: Du Cote de Chez Swann; A l'Ombre des Jeunes Filles en Fleurs; Le Cote de Guermantes I, one of 800 numbered copies for the Amis de L' Edition Originale (#760); Le Cote de Guermantes II [and] Sodome et Gomorrhe I, one of 800 numbered copies for the Amis de L'Edition Originale (#168); Sodome et Gomorrhe II (three volumes), one of 30 numbered copies for the Exemplaires D'Auteur Hors Commerce Marques (For the author, not for sale, all three numbered 855); La Prisonniere (two volumes), one of 875 numbered copies for the Amis de L'Edition Originale (both volumes nymbered 293); Albertine Disparue (two volumes), one of 1,200 numbered copies for the Amis de L'Edition Originale (Both volumes numbered 346); and Le Temps Retrouve (two volumes), one of 1,200 numbered copies for the Amis de L'Edition Originale (both volumes numbered 845).
Original buff wrappers printed in red and black. Du Cote de Chez Swann in yellow wrappers, printed in black. Volume I of Sodome et Gomorrhe II with previous owner's ink notes on front blank, ink bleeding a bit onto the half-title. Overall fine copies of all volumes. Each volume individually housed in chemises with red morocco spines over gray paper boards and black paper slipcases with red morocco edges.
"Du cote 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 Rene 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.