Marcel Proust was an early 20th-century French writer responsible for what is officially the longest novel in the world: A la recherche du temps perdu – which has 1,267,069 words in it; double those in War and Peace. It was immediately recognised to be a masterpiece, ranked by many as the greatest novel of the century, or simply of all time.
The book was published in French in seven volumes over 14 years:
Du côté de chez Swann, 1913
À l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs, 1919
Le Côté de Guermantes, 1920
Sodome et Gomorrhe, 1922
La Prisonnière, 1923
Albertine disparue, 1925
Le Temps retrouvé, 1927
It was immediately recognised to be a masterpiece, ranked by many as the greatest novel of the century, or simply of all time. What makes it so special is that it isn’t just a novel in the straight narrative sense. It is a work that intersperses genius-level descriptions of people and places with a whole philosophy of life.
The clue is in the title:
À la recherche du temps perdu
In Search of Lost Time
Full story and photos here: http://www.thebookoflife.org/marcel-proust/