Pleasures and Days
A stunning volume of philosophical reflections, short narratives, and prose poems, Pleasures and Days provides an early glimpse into Proust’s genius as a collector of exquisitely poignant sensations and recollections. Set amid the salon society of fin-du-siècle Paris, these sketches and short stories depict the lives, loves, manners, and motivations of a host of characters, all viewed with a famously knowing eye. By turns cuttingly satirical and bitterly moving, Proust’s portrayals are layered with imagery and feeling—whether they be of the aspiring Bouvard and Pécuchet, the deluded Madame de Breyves, or of Baldassare Silvande, steeped in memories, regret, and final understanding at the end of his life. Novelist Marcel Proust was a prominent figure in the French salons of the late 19th century; he is best remembered for his seven-volume masterpiece In Search of Lost Time.