After the success of his previous book on Proust and Vermeer, Lorenzo Renzi once again deals with the author of “In Search of Lost Time”, this time focusing on the intense relationship that the French writer developed with Germany and German culture. Proust idealized Germany, which for him was the idyllic home of Rococo and Romanticism, the source of the spirit of music and poetry (Beethoven, Wagner, Goethe); he imagined it as an element of the summertime landscape amidst which, as a boy with his mother, he had rowed a boat along a river. The French author’s fondness for Germany was reciprocated by many great German critics – Curtius, Auerbach, Spitzer, Benjamin, Adorno, Jauss – with some of whom he had personal contacts based on mutual friendship. With his typical wit and curiosity, Renzi addresses a crucial phase of cultural history, including both dramatic events of 20th-century Europe (World War I) and amusing episodes (such as the publication of “Remembrance” in the German Democratic Republic).
Lorenzo Renzi formerly taught Romance Philology at the University of Padua. His translated works include “Einführung in die romanische Sprachwissenschaft” (Niemeyer) and “Introducción a la filología románica” (Gredos).