Books: A Concordance to Proust

PROUST: THE LATER YEARS by George D. Painter. 424 pages. Atlantic-Little Brown. $7.50.

It was 1922. In a hermetically sealed bedroom at 44 rue Hamelin in Paris, the brilliant, untidy life of Valentin Marcel Proust, now 51, was drawing to a close For 17 years he had prophesied this event to his friends, who were amused. He had diagnosed the instrument pneumonia—before the doctors, even before it struck. Now he would have nothing to do with his foolish, fluttering rescuers. Weakly, vainly, he ordered his own brother, Dr. Robert Proust, from the room....

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