CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

On the cover of an album series published by Delcourt is written “Marcel Proust, À la recherche du temps perdu, adaptation and illustrations by Stéphane Heuet.” With such an unassuming announcement of his role, the adaptor-illustrator manages to ascribe the literary paternity of a comic strip (5 volumes published by Delcourt) to Proust himself, which is no mean feat. And as a final irony or provocation, the “Recherche du temps perdu” illustrated by Heuet becomes “Tintin in the Land of the Guermantes.” As they peruse the rectangular frames of a classic comic strip with their “clear line” graphic style, those who enjoy a leisurely ramble through Proust’s meandering paragraphs may well find themselves aboard a high-speed train at full throttle: “Un amour de Swann” in two albums and 517 drawings, instead of 200 pages from the publisher Pléiade. This unnatural alliance has been denounced by advocates of literature as a travesty of Proust’s work, and by devotees of authored comic strips as a work devoid of graphic boldness. This article sets out to answer both of these objections.


  • Proust
  • comic strip
  • literature
  • clear line graphics
Anne-Marie Chartier
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