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Many literary detectives have pored over a great puzzle concerning the

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Many literary detectives have pored over a great puzzle concerning the  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 14 Aug 2019, 21:23
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Many literary detectives have pored over a great puzzle concerning the writer Marcel Proust: what happened in 1909? How did Contre Saint-Beuve, an essay attacking the methods of the critic Saint Beuve, turn into the start of the novel Remembrance of Things Past? A recently published letter from Proust to the editor Vallette confirms that Fallois, the editor of the 1954 edition of Contre Saint-Beuve, made an essentially correct guess about the relationship of the essay to the novel. Fallois proposed that Proust had tried to begin a novel in 1908, abandoned it for what was to be a long demonstration of Saint-Beuve’s blindness to the real nature of great writing, found the essay giving rise to personal memories and fictional developments, and allowed these to take over in a steadily developing novel.

Draft passages in Proust’s 1909 notebooks indicate that the transition from essay to novel began in Contre Saint-Beuve, when Proust introduced several examples to show the powerful influence that involuntary memory exerts over the creative imagination. In effect, in trying to demonstrate that the imagination is more profound and less submissive to the intellect than Saint-Beuve assumed, Proust elicited vital memories of his own and, finding subtle connections between them, began to amass the material for Remembrance. By August, Proust was writing to Vallette, informing him of his intention to develop the material as a novel. Maurice Bardeche, in Marcel Proust, romancier, has shown the importance in the drafts of Remembrance of spontaneous and apparently random associations of Proust’s subconscious. As incidents and reflections occurred to Proust, he continually inserted new passages altering and expanding his narrative. But he found it difficult to control the drift of his inspiration. The very richness and complexity of the meaningful relationships that kept presenting and rearranging themselves on all levels, from abstract intelligence to profound dreamy feelings, made it difficult for Proust to set them out coherently. The beginning of control came when he saw how to connect the beginning and the end of his novel.

Intrigued by Proust’s claim that he had “begun and finished” Remembrance at the same time, Henri Bonnet discovered that parts of Remembrance’s last book were actually started in 1909. Already in that year, Proust had drafted descriptions of his novel’s characters in their old age that would appear in the final book of Remembrance, where the permanence of art is set against the ravages of time. The letter to Vallette, drafts of the essay and novel, and Bonnet’s researches establish in broad outline the process by which Proust generated his novel out of the ruins of his essay. But those of us who hoped, with Kolb, that Kolb’s newly published complete edition of Proust’s correspondence for 1909 would document the process in greater detail are disappointed. For until Proust was confident that he was at last in sight of a viable structure for Remembrance, he told few correspondents that he was producing anything more ambitious than Contre Saint-Beuve.
1. The passage is primarily concerned with
(A) the role of involuntary memory in Proust’s writing
(B) evidence concerning the genesis of Proust’s novel Remembrance of Things Past
(C) conflicting scholarly opinions about the value of studying the drafts of Remembrance of Things Past
(D) Proust’s correspondence and what it reveals about Remembrance of Things Past
(E) the influence of Saint-Beuve’s criticism on Proust’s novel Remembrance of Things Past



2. It can be inferred from the passage that all of the following are literary detectives who have tried, by means of either scholarship or criticism, to help solve the “great puzzle” mentioned in lines 1-2 EXCEPT:
(A) Bardeche
(B) Bonnet
(C) Fallois
(D) Kolb
(E) Vallette



3. According to the passage, in drafts of Contre Saint Beuve Proust set out to show that Saint-Beuve made which of the following mistakes as a critic?
I. Saint-Beuve made no effort to study the development of a novel through its drafts and revisions.
II. Saint-Beuve assigned too great a role in the creative process to a writer’s conscious intellect.
III. Saint-Beuve concentrated too much on plots and not enough on imagery and other elements of style.
(A) II only
(B) III only
(C) I and II only
(D) I and III only
(E) I, II, and III



4. Which of the following best states the author’s attitude toward the information that scholars have gathered about Proust’s writing in 1909?
(A) The author is disappointed that no new documents have come to light since Fallois’s speculations.
(B) The author is dissatisfied because there are too many gaps and inconsistencies in the drafts.
(C) The author is confident that Fallois’s 1954 guess has been proved largely correct, but regrets that still more detailed documentation concerning Proust’s transition from the essay to the novel has not emerged.
(D) The author is satisfied that Fallois’s judgment was largely correct, but feels that Proust’s early work in designing and writing the novel was probably far more deliberate than Fallois’s description of the process would suggest.
(E) The author is satisfied that the facts of Proust’s life in 1909 have been thoroughly established, but believes such documents as drafts and correspondence are only of limited value in a critical assessment of Proust’s writing.



5. The author of the passage implies that which of the following would be the LEAST useful source of information about Proust’s transition from working on Contre Saint-Beuve to having a viable structure for Remembrance of Things Past?
(A) Fallois’s comments in the 1954 edition of Contre Saint-Beuve
(B) Proust’s 1909 notebooks, including the drafts of Remembrance of Things Past
(C) Proust’s 1909 correspondence, excluding the letter to Vallette
(D) Bardeche’s Marcel Proust, romancier
(E) Bonnet’s researches concerning Proust’s drafts of the final book of Remembrance of Things Past



6. The passage offers information to answer which of the following questions?
(A) Precisely when in 1909 did Proust decide to abandon Contre Saint-Beuve?
(B) Precisely when in 1909 did Proust decide to connect the beginning and the end of Remembrance of Things Past?
(C) What was the subject of the novel that Proust attempted in 1908?
(D) What specific criticisms of Saint-Beuve appear, in fictional form, in Remembrance of Things Past?
(E) What is a theme concerning art that appears in the final book of Remembrance of Things Past?



7. Which of the following best describes the relationship between Contre Saint-Beuve and Remembrance of Things Past as it is explained in the passage?
(A) Immediately after abandoning Contre Saint-Beuve, at Vallette’s suggestion, Proust started Remembrance as a fictional demonstration that Saint-Beuve was wrong about the imagination.
(B) Immediately after abandoning Contre Saint-Beuve, at Vallette’s suggestion, Proust turned his attention to Remembrance, starting with incidents that had occurred to him while planning the essay.
(C) Despondent that he could not find a coherent structure for Contre Saint-Beuve, an essay about the role of memory in fiction, Proust began instead to write Remembrance, a novel devoted to important early memories.
(D) While developing his argument about the imagination in Contre Saint-Beuve, Proust described and began to link together personal memories that became a foundation for Remembrance.
(E) While developing his argument about memory and imagination in Contre Saint-Beuve, Proust created fictional characters to embody the abstract themes in his essay.



Originally posted by angel2009 on 14 Feb 2010, 23:50.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 14 Aug 2019, 21:23, edited 1 time in total.
Updated - Complete topic (144).
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Re: Many literary detectives have pored over a great puzzle concerning the  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Apr 2015, 06:35
I got BEACCED in 16.5 minutes. This is a tough passage; I found myself eliminating answers rather than picking out the right answer if only because the choices referred to different sections of the passage. Many of the questions were Detail or Inference types, which definitely doesn't make things any easier!

Still, I can see - in hindsight - someone could 'skim' the passage to get an idea of the structure of the passage and identify the key terms (e.g. the names of people). It's pretty easy to get bogged down in the details that you're going to be re-reading to answer the questions anyway.

Despite its difficult, this passage sure beats an equivalent science one!
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Re: Many literary detectives have pored over a great puzzle concerning the  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Sep 2015, 03:16
2
saroshgilani wrote:
can someone please explain q3, q4 and q6 ?


1.The passage is primarily concerned with

(A) the role of involuntary memory in Proust’s writing
Although, the second paragraph talks about the role of involuntary memory in Proust's writing, it is cannot the considered primary motive of the passage since such description has only been included in order to show how Proust introduced the powerful influence that involuntary memory exerts over the creative imagination, in his effort to counter the stance held by Saint Beuve.
(B) evidence concerning the genesis of Proust’s novel Remembrance of Things Past
The first line of the passage is an open end question which the author seeks to know. What happened in 1909? How did Contre Saint-Beuve (an essay) turn in to the start of the novel Remembrance Of Things Past? The subsequent lines/passages introduce several theories/evidence put forward by literary investigators to answer these questions. While some are considered valid while others lack substantial evidence to answer the main question of the passage. The last few lines tell us about the author's dismay at finding the right evidence concerning the genesis (origin) of the the novel.
(C) conflicting scholarly opinions about the value of studying the drafts of Remembrance of Things Past
The opinion/findings of many scholars have been mentioned in the passage but none talk about conflicting opinions of the drafts. In fact, more than one scholar concur on the importance of the drafts.
(D) Proust’s correspondence and what it reveals about Remembrance of Things Past
Proust's correspondence (through drafts, letters) have been mentioned in the passage several times to determine what happened in 1909 or how the essay turned into a novel..but this is not the primary motive of the passage.
(E) the influence of Saint-Beuve’s criticism on Proust’s novel Remembrance of Things Past
Saint Beuve favoured creative imagination & was at odd's with Proust's view of what constituted the real nature of great writing. This conflict/criticism is speculated to have given rise to Proust's essay & subsequently it's transition into a novel. However, the rest of the passage is fixated on determining/clarifying the origin of the novel.

2. It can be inferred from the passage that all of the following are literary detectives who have tried, by means of either scholarship or criticism, to help solve the “great puzzle” mentioned in lines 1-2 EXCEPT:
(A) Bardeche
has shown the importance of drafts of Remembrance of spontaneous and apparently random associations of Proust's subconscious. The great puzzle is "how did the essay turn into a novel'? Bardeche, like other scholars, tries to answer which process was used by Proust.
(B) Bonnet
discovered that parts of Remembrance's last book were actually started in 1909..and his discovery along with letters to Vallete and drafts of essay & novel, paint a broad outline the process by which Proust generated his novel.
(C) Fallois
para1, Fallois made an essentially correct guess about the relationship of the essay to the novel. Thus, contributing to solving the great puzzle.
(D) Kolb
Kolb published details of Prout's correspondence for 1909..but did not provide enough evidence to answer the puzzle. Kolb tried.
(E) Vallette
Vallete is the recipient/correspondence to Proust's letters. He did not criticise or try to solve the great puzzle.


3. According to the passage, in drafts of Contre Saint Beuve Proust set out to show that Saint-Beuve made which of the following mistakes as a critic?
I. Saint-Beuve made no effort to study the development of a novel through its drafts and revisions.
No such thing has been mentioned about Saint-Beuve's method of studying or his stance on the process of drafts/novels
II. Saint-Beuve assigned too great a role in the creative process to a writer’s conscious intellect.
Para2 Lines 2,3 : Proust introduced several examples to show the powerful influence.........In effect, trying to demonstrate that the imagination is more profound and less submissive than the intellect, as assumed by Saint Beuve. It is clear that Saint Beuve did not consider imagination/involuntary memory as important as intellect.

III. Saint-Beuve concentrated too much on plots and not enough on imagery and other elements of style.
No such thing has been mentioned in the passage. It has not been said that Saint Beuve concentrated too much on plots..only that he dismissed the powerful influence of imagination.
(A) II only
(B) III only
(C) I and II only
(D) I and III only
(E) I, II, and III

4. Which of the following best states the author’s attitude toward the information that scholars have gathered about Proust’s writing in 1909?
(A) The author is disappointed that no new documents have come to light since Fallois’s speculations.
Kolb's newly published edition proves that this answer choice is wrong.
(B) The author is dissatisfied because there are too many gaps and inconsistencies in the drafts.
References to the importance of drafts point towards a concurrent view and are not shown to be inconsistent.
(C) The author is confident that Fallois’s 1954 guess has been proved largely correct, but regrets that still more detailed documentation concerning Proust’s transition from the essay to the novel has not emerged.
Para 1 "Fallois essentially made a correct guess" Fallois' proposal has been explained and the following passages describe how. Para 2 The author mentions that the draft of essay and novel..Bonnet's research, and letter to Valllete establisha broad outline.....but the author regrets that more substantial detail has not emerged...this regret is expressed through his dented expectation of Kolb's new book.
(D) The author is satisfied that Fallois’s judgment was largely correct, but feels that Proust’s early work in designing and writing the novel was probably far more deliberate than Fallois’s description of the process would suggest.
The first is partly correct since the author acknowledges Fallois's guess to be correct. Fallois description suggested that Proust began writing a novel...abandoned it..in protest against Saint Beuve's stance.....then Proust set out to criticise him...in his essay...and found the essay giving rise to memory & fictional developments...this later turned into a novel...The author does not suggest that Fallois' proposal is wrong...or that Proust's early work was deliberate.
(E) The author is satisfied that the facts of Proust’s life in 1909 have been thoroughly established, but believes such documents as drafts and correspondence are only of limited value in a critical assessment of Proust’s writing.
The author is not satisfied. Para 3. He seeks more detail to evidence the origin of the novel.

5. The author of the passage implies that which of the following would be the LEAST useful source of information about Proust’s transition from working on Contre Saint-Beuve to having a viable structure for Remembrance of Things Past?
(A) Fallois’s comments in the 1954 edition of Contre Saint-Beuve
He proposed a relationship between the essay and the novel..but did not provide information about the transition from the essay to a viable structure for the novel.
(B) Proust’s 1909 notebooks, including the drafts of Remembrance of Things Past
Para 2, Draft passages in 1909 indicate the transition...."
(C) Proust’s 1909 correspondence, excluding the letter to Vallette
Para 3, he told a few correspondence about the viable structure.
(D) Bardeche’s Marcel Proust, romancier
Shown the importance of drafts..the use of subconscious..shows transition of new passage writings
(E) Bonnet’s researches concerning Proust’s drafts of the final book of Remembrance of Things Past
Bonnet discovered..that the last part of the book were written in 1909...further more his finding point out the transitional process.

6. The passage offers information to answer which of the following questions?
(A) Precisely when in 1909 did Proust decide to abandon Contre Saint-Beuve?
What happened in 1909? We are trying to find out. We don't know. Fallois says that Proust began writing a novel in 1908 and abandoned it. We don't know anything about Contre Saint-Beuve
(B) Precisely when in 1909 did Proust decide to connect the beginning and the end of Remembrance of Things Past?
Proust gained control of his writing when he connected the beginning and the end but when exactly it happened, we do not know. The last parts, as discovered, by Bonnet show that they were started in 1909...Para2 end says he connected them..but no precise time has been given.
(C) What was the subject of the novel that Proust attempted in 1908?
The novel was highly imaginative as is the style of Proust writing and his intention to showcase the importance of imagination on creative writing. What was the novel about? We don't know much except that para3, we learn that the characters would appear in the final book, aged.
(D) What specific criticisms of Saint-Beuve appear, in fictional form, in Remembrance of Things Past?
Proust wrote profusely, relying on incidents & reflections to shape his imagination...it is possible that Saint Beuve may have appeared in fictional form in the novel. But we don't really know if he did or if he did, what specific criticism he faced.
(E) What is a theme concerning art that appears in the final book of Remembrance of Things Past?
Para 3 states in the last book, Proust set out to show the the relation of the permanence of art with time.

7. Which of the following best describes the relationship between Contre Saint-Beuve and Remembrance of Things Past as it is explained in the passage?
(A) Immediately after abandoning Contre Saint-Beuve, at Vallette’s suggestion, Proust started Remembrance as a fictional demonstration that Saint-Beuve was wrong about the imagination.
Firstly, we dont not know when Proust abandoned Contre..Secondly, we are told that the transition took place...when exactly we don't know.
(B) Immediately after abandoning Contre Saint-Beuve, at Vallette’s suggestion, Proust turned his attention to Remembrance, starting with incidents that had occurred to him while planning the essay.
Same as (A)
(C) Despondent that he could not find a coherent structure for Contre Saint-Beuve, an essay about the role of memory in fiction, Proust began instead to write Remembrance, a novel devoted to important early memories.
No such frustration has been mentioned in the passage. Instead it has been shown that the essay transitioned into something more than a critic, and Proust himself decided to turn it into a novel.
(D) While developing his argument about the imagination in Contre Saint-Beuve, Proust described and began to link together personal memories that became a foundation for Remembrance.
Para 2 clearly states that Proust tried to demonstrate that the imagination is more powerful..and that he began writing from his own elicited vital memories..finding connections (links)..incidents & reflections...turned into narratives.
(E) While developing his argument about memory and imagination in Contre Saint-Beuve, Proust created fictional characters to embody the abstract themes in his essay
Did not create fictional characters to EMBODY abstract themes. Used personal experiences, memory para 2
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Re: Many literary detectives have pored over a great puzzle concerning the   [#permalink] 16 Oct 2019, 18:18
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