Marcel Proust has written several novels today considered as pillars of French literature. However, in 1919, the writer is scandalous when he receives the Goncourt prize with In the shade of the young girls in bloom (the second volume of his work In Search of Lost Time). At the time, the award rewards young authors, and the novelist is at that moment 48 years old. Sick, Proust also did not participate in the war of 14-18 and wins against Roland Dorgelès, a former soldier who recounts his experience of the trenches in The wooden cross. A year after the Armistice, the price of Proust sounds like an affront.
Part of the press of the time also makes fun of the long sentences of the writer, his style too dense. "We find that Proust is too much like 17th century authors, whereas the Dorgelès style is considered more modern", explains Thierry Laget, author of Proust, Prix Goncourt, a literary riot. For its part, the author prefers to react with detachment to his Goncourt. Typical for a man who rarely leaves his room and flees society.
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