Books: Great Man's Trial Run

JEAN SANTEUIL (744 pp.)—Marcel Proust—Simon & Schuster ($5.95).

Of all literary games, few are more exacting than Proustmanship. Questions of who really wrote Shakespeare or what Joyce's Finnegans Wake means are of no interest to the devout Proustman, who spends his life, like a woodpecker on a forest giant, working his way up and down the Master's monolithic novel, Remembrance of Things Past. As the Proustman has more than a million words and hundreds of characters to examine, he has had reason to be thankful that the Master left but a single major tome behind.

Abruptly, the situation has changed. Some years ago...

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