In Search of Lost Time, Volume I: Swann's Way (Modern Library Series)

In Search of Lost Time, Volume I: Swann's Way (Modern Library Series)

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In Search of Lost Time, Volume I: Swann's Way (Modern Library Series) by Marcel Proust

In Swann’s Way, the themes of Proust’s masterpiece are introduced, and the narrator’s childhood in Paris and Combray is recalled, most memorably in the evocation of the famous maternal good-night kiss. The recollection of the narrator’s love for Swann’s daughter Gilberte leads to an account of Swann’s passion for Odette and the rise of the nouveaux riches Verdurins.
For this authoritative English-language edition, D. J. Enright has revised the late Terence Kilmartin’s acclaimed reworking of C. K. Scott Moncrieff’s translation to take into account the new definitive French editions of Á la recherché du temps perdu (the final volume of these new editions was published by the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade in 1989).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375751547
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/28/1998
Series: In Search of Lost Time Series
Edition description: MODERN LIB
Pages: 656
Sales rank: 138,193
Product dimensions: 5.19(w) x 7.98(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Marcel Proust was born in the Parisian suburb of Auteuil on July 10, 1871. His father, Adrien Proust, was a doctor celebrated for his work in epidemiology; his mother, Jeanne Weil, was a stockbroker's daughter of Jewish descent. He lived as a  child in the family home on Boulevard Malesherbes in Paris, but spent vacations with his aunt and uncle in the town of Illiers near Chartres, where the Prousts had lived for generations and which became the model for the Combray of his great novel. (In recent years it was officially renamed Illiers-Combray.) Sickly from birth,Marcel was subject from the age of nine to violent attacks of asthma, and although he did a year of military service as a young man and studied law and political science, his invalidism disqualified him from an active professional life.

During the 1890s Proust contributed sketches to Le Figaro and to a short-lived magazine, Le Banquet, founded by some of his school friends in 1892. Pleasures and Days, a collection of his stories, essays, and poems, was published in 1896. In his youth Proust led an active social life, penetrating the highest circles of wealth and aristocracy. Artistically and intellectually, his influences included the aesthetic criticism of John Ruskin, the philosophy of Henri Bergson, the music of Wagner, and the fiction of Anatole France (on whom he modeled his character Bergotte). An affair begun in 1894 with the composer and pianist Reynaldo Hahn marked the beginning of Proust's often anguished acknowledgment of his homosexuality.

Following the publication of Emile Zola's letter in defense of Colonel Dreyfus in 1898, Proust became 'the first Dreyfusard,' as he later phrased it. By the time Dreyfus was finally vindicated of charges of treason, Proust's social circles had been torn apart by the anti-Semitism and political hatreds stirred up by the affair.  

Proust was very attached to his mother, and after her death in 1905 he spent some time in a sanitorium. His health worsened progressively, and he withdrew almost completely from society and devoted himself to writing. Proust's early work had done nothing to establish his reputation as a major writer. In an unfinished novel, Jean Santeuil (not published until 1952), he laid some of the groundwork for In Search of Lost Time, and in Against Sainte-Beuve, written in 1908-09, he stated as his aesthetic credo: 'A book is the product of a different self from the one we manifest in our habits, in society, in our vices. If we mean to try to understand this self it is only in our inmost depths, by endeavoring to reconstruct it there, that the quest can be achieved.' He appears to have begun work on his long masterpiece sometime around 1908, and the first volume, Swann's Way, was published in 1913.

In 1919 the second volume, Within a Budding Grove, won the Goncourt Prize, bringing Proust great and instantaneous fame. Two subsequent sections—The Guermantes Way (1920-21) and Sodom and Gomorrah (1921)—appeared in his lifetime. (Of the depiction of homosexuality in the latter, his friend André Gide complained: 'Will you never portray this form of Eros for us in the aspect of youth and beauty?') The remaining volumes were published following Proust's death on November 18, 1922: The Captive in 1923, The Fugitive in 1925, and Time Regained in 1927.

Date of Birth:

July 10, 1871

Date of Death:

November 18, 1922

Place of Birth:

Auteuil, near Paris, France

Place of Death:

Paris, France

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In Search of Lost Time Volume I Swann's Way 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Michael_in_Mpls More than 1 year ago
The B&N description quotes Library Journal as saying "Much-honored translator Lydia Davis launches a new rendering of Proust's magisterial A la recherche du temps perdu." That amounts to a claim that THIS is the Lydia Davis translation. It is NOT. This is Enright's revision of Kilmartin's revision of Montcrieff's translation. I would love the new translation on Nook, but this is not it. Barnes & Noble should drop the reference to the Lydia Davis translation from anything except the ones that ARE her translation. (My rating is of the B&N description, not of the work itself.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is supposedly volume 1 of In Search of Lost Time; however, when you download it and open it up, it's actually volume 6. Wait until Random House rectifies this mistake.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Hi. I think that people become easily discouraged with Proust if they don't know what the books are about. Swann's Way is the introduction to the master plan of Remembrance of Things Past. The keys to the novel involve Proust's humor, his mastery of description and character, and his unexpected changes in characters' behavior, which one can only learn by reading through the entire book. Also, Proust was very concerned with aestheticism. If you really want a good guide to the work, read Shattuck's books on Proust.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Briliantly delicate, Swann's Way deciphers human experiences not usually put into written word. The taste of a cookie can thrill us, Proust teaches. He makes daily experiences unravel into a thrilling and euphoric saga.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was good but was very hard to get into. It wasn't a book that just stood out. It wasn't very special...