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The Recherché
is a Noah’s Ark

 La Recherche è un’Arca di Noè  DCM-009
01 October 2022

Daria Galateria and Marcel Proust share a long history. The former, a lecturer in French Language and Literature at La Sapienza University in Rome, has edited the world’s first annotated edition of Proust’s In Search for Lost Time. In addition, she is one of the most knowledgeable and passionate scholars of the great French writer, whose death came to pass 100 years ago. In her latest book, Il bestiario di Proust [Proust's Bestiary], published by Sellerio, “for the first time we consider how animals were protagonists in the principal pages of the author’s life and works”. “The Recherché is a Noah’s Ark in which Proust has saved his lost animals by the hundreds”. The Galateria inventory opens with the alcyon and ends at the zebra. For each one, the author has drawn a portrait, and indicates where and how to look for them. She emphasizes, “Many of us have written that animals in the Recherché are almost non-existent, that the real ones are rare, that in Proust there is an obvious disinterest in them. Working on the parricidal animals in Proust, I revised this judgement”. The quotations, the author warns, “are from the original French, because many texts are still unpublished in Italian, and because in translation the animals may disappear or vary”.