Did the foundational event of Proust’s great novel really happen? Michael Wood talks to Tom about several English translations of In Search of Lost Time, old and new, and what they reveal about different ways of reading the novel. If the dipping of the madeleine in his tea conjures an overwhelming memory of the narrator’s childhood, it is also a challenge to the conscious mind, a product of chance that Proust suggests might easily not have occurred at all.

Read more from Michael on Proust in the LRB:

Proust's Otherness
The Thing
Proust's Letters
Comic-Strip Proust
Proust and His Mother
An Absolutely Different Life

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