Lord Dunsany and Marcel Proust

Extract from my review of IN THE LAND OF TIME by Lord Dunsany:  HEREdunsany

  1. nullimmortalis
  2. The Avenger of Perdóndaris
    “Then, the dawn wind being all about her, she said that she was cold and turned back into the Ivory palace. And I feared that we might never meet again, for time moves differently over the Lands of Dream than over the fields we know;”
    This Proustian-like unrequited love at the centre of this further River Yann and Go-By Street sequel of some length suits not only the Proustianised solidly wide and tall chunkinesses of the obsessive and compelling almost hypnotic paragraphs, with their tentacularly and sumptuously structured syntax of dream-fey sentences, but also it suits the Proustian sense of Time, with Proust’s huge novel having the title often translated as ‘In Search of Lost Time’ … And, further, this story also suits the mixed feelings of discrete personality between dream and life, and the Dark-Tower type doorways between these two illusions, this and much else in Dunsany suiting the concept of a number of Proustian Selves within one individual as he or she passes through Time. In fact, the more I think of it, Dunsany is a Proustian writer, and Proust is a Dunsanyan writer. It’s just that their subject-matter is different. In this story, I even got the sense that the protagonist’s equivalent to the Proustian cup of tea dunked into by the petite madeleine cake is the London Cockney language!
    Marcel Proust 1871-1922 — Lord Dunsany 1878-1957

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