ARC Review: Monsieur Proust's Library, by Anka Muhlstein | Teen Ink

ARC Review: Monsieur Proust's Library, by Anka Muhlstein

June 30, 2021
By Bella_Queen DIAMOND, Plymouth, Ohio
Bella_Queen DIAMOND, Plymouth, Ohio
81 articles 25 photos 79 comments

Favorite Quote:
Keep your face always toward the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you.
-Walt Whitman

Monsieur Proust’s Library, by Anka Muhlstein, goes into depth the captivating story of Marcel Proust’s beautiful way of being able to absorb books, fall in love with characters to the point that he cries at the end of a book, and his hesitant homosexuality that fueled a few of his characters. Through Muhlstein’s genius, I found a newfound sense of love for Proust, learning to appreciate his absorption of other authors’, like Ruskin and Balzac’s, writing styles. Through this way of “mimicking” other authors, he created his own, special, way of bringing a story to life.

Before Monsieur Proust’s Library, I had heard of Marcel in a more “he wrote these books and died like this” way. It hardly went into depth about his writing style and love for literature, or his homosexuality. Through this book, however, I learned so much about Proust and found myself really admiring him. 

Now, onto my favorite feature of the book. I really think it was the comparison between the characters of Marcel’s long term-book, In Search of Lost Time, to the author. As a writer, I can understand him accidentally pouring himself into Bergotte, Charlus, and the Narrator. By explaining these similarities, Anka helps us realize just how much he put himself into these people. By doing this, Marcel Proust can help us understand him and his ways, which is something I really value in authors. I love reading about them, and not just their lives, but also what they wanted to achieve and how they defined their writing styles, and Anka really delivered.

To conclude; the book was a masterpiece and my appreciation for both Proust and Anka has really grown at the introduction of this book. Well done, Muhlstein. And well done Proust.

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