Swann's Way

Swann's Way

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by Marcel Proust
     
 

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Swann's Way is the first volume of seven in the series In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust first published in 1913.��In Swann's Way, the narrator begins by noting, �For a long time, I went to bed early.� He comments on the way sleep seems to alter one�s surroundings, and the way Habit makes one indifferent to them. He remembers being in his room in the family�s

Overview

Swann's Way is the first volume of seven in the series In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust first published in 1913.��In Swann's Way, the narrator begins by noting, �For a long time, I went to bed early.� He comments on the way sleep seems to alter one�s surroundings, and the way Habit makes one indifferent to them. He remembers being in his room in the family�s country home in Combray, while downstairs his parents entertain their friend Charles Swann, an elegant man of Jewish origin with strong ties to society (the character is modelled on Proust's friend Charles Ephrussi). Due to Swann�s visit, the Narrator is deprived of his mother�s goodnight kiss, but he gets her to spend the night reading to him. This memory is the only one he has of Combray, until years later the taste of a madeleine cake dipped in tea inspires a nostalgic incident of involuntary memory. He remembers having a similar snack as a child with his invalid aunt Leonie, and it leads to more memories of Combray. He describes their servant Fran�oise, who is uneducated but possesses an earthy wisdom and a strong sense of both duty and tradition. He meets an elegant �lady in pink� while visiting his uncle Adolphe. He develops a love of the theater, especially the actress Berma, and his awkward Jewish friend Bloch introduces him to the works of the writer Bergotte. He learns Swann made an unsuitable marriage but has social ambitions for his beautiful daughter Gilberte. Legrandin, a snobbish friend of the family, tries to avoid introducing the boy to his well-to-do sister. The Narrator describes two walking paths: the way past Swann�s home (the M�s�glise way), and the Guermantes way, both containing scenes of natural beauty. Taking the M�s�glise way, he sees Gilberte Swann standing in her yard with a lady in white, Mme Swann, and her supposed lover: Baron de Charlus, a friend of Swann�s. Gilberte makes a gesture that the Narrator interprets as a rude dismissal. During another walk, he spies a lesbian scene involving Mlle Vinteuil, daughter of a composer, and her friend. The Guermantes way is symbolic of the Guermantes family, the nobility of the area. The Narrator is awed by the magic of their name, and is captivated when he first sees Mme de Guermantes. He discovers how appearances conceal the true nature of things, and tries writing a description of some nearby steeples. Lying in bed, he seems transported back to these places until he awakens.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940016402703
Publisher:
Cricket House Books, LLC
Publication date:
04/11/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
7 MB

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Swann's Way 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
222B More than 1 year ago
This edition is a crime.  Seriously.  If you love books, don't buy this.  FInd a used copy from a REAL publisher. This book appears to be an OCR scan of another edition or someone dumped a edition for e-readers into a text file and printed it.  That someone is selling for their own profit (B&N?  Care to chime in?)  The book is typeset using block paragraphs which is hideous.  Strange recurring typos. DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What can be say for this book that has not already been say? I add this new translation is very fine for the English ear and will be a very fine introducion to many wishing to begin Proust but do not have learned French.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If there is a better book to read on a desert island then tell me. This book is meant to be read leisurely and slowly. Its prose produces a hypnotic effect with its elaborate detail. You will never see love treated in a more delicate but at the same time more analytical manner. The detail can get a little overwhelming at times but in the end its worth it. this book is not for the casual reader. I would not say it was the greatest book I have ever read but maybe i'll change my mind after I read the other volumes.
Paul_L_Ness More than 1 year ago
Among the greatest works in the history of literature, it sits on my shortest bookshelf with Baudelaire, Goethe, Homer, D.F. Wallace, Dostoevsky, Durell.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago