Books: The Private Tutor

THE VERDICT

by HILDEGARD KNEF 377 pages. Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

$10.

One of the great climaxes in Proust's Remembrance of Things Past occurs when Charles Swann confides to the Due de Guermantes that he is dying. Instead of sympathizing, the Due turns to his wife, who has dressed for a party, and demands that she wear red shoes, not black, to go with her red dress. He tells Swann jovially to calm down; they will be meeting for lunch soon.

That sort of callousness is about what people with cancer can expect, according to Hildegard Knef. She has it and lives Proust's horrid little...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!