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The Guermantes Way (À la recherche du temps perdu #3)

4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  3,736 ratings  ·  293 reviews
Viking’s In Search of Lost Time is the first completely new translation of Proust’s masterwork since the 1920s. Under Christopher Prendergast’s general editorship, these superb editions bring us a more rich, comic, and lucid Proust than American readers have previously been able to enjoy.

After the relative intimacy of the first two volumes of In Search of Lost Time, The G

Hardcover, 640 pages
Published June 3rd 2004 by Viking Adult (first published 1920)
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how can a sociopath love society so much??

because, make no mistake, that is what we are dealing with this third installment, our dear narrator graduates from being a feeble child, from being a lovesick adolescent into a manipulating, stalking, social climbing creature who learns a lesson in disillusionment. cheers.

for all his bookish intelligence, his overthinking, his lofty words, at the end of the day, he is just a pale sticky thing masturbating in society's stairwell.

this is his idea
And even in my most carnal desires, oriented always in a particular direction, concentrated round a single dream, I might have recognized as their primary motive an idea, an idea for which I would have laid down my life, at the innermost core of which, as in my day-dreams while I sat reading all afternoon in the garden at Combray, lay the notion of perfection.

-Marcel Proust

I go forward slowly, dead, and my vision is no longer mine, it’s nothing: it’s only the vision of the human animal who, wit
In the first two volumes (I argue, anyway, in my review of A L'Ombre Des Jeunes Filles En Fleurs), Proust was most interested in putting romantic relationships under the microscope. He returns to that theme later on in the series, but in the third book he is primarily concerned with picking apart the concept of wit, more exactly, ésprit, something that has always been terribly important to the French upper classes. If you want an easier tour of the subject, you might like to check out Leconte's ...more
the literary equivalent of that (genius but dull as rocks) 10 minute tracking shot in le week-end.
This may be my favorite book of ISOLT so far. Yes there are moments that seemed to go on....and on...a bit, but overall I feel that the narrator became more real, more human, as did many of the people around him, including those who he has been studying from afar.

In The Guermantes Way, our unnamed narrator has matured somewhat, though his exact age remains unspecified. He is now attending the salons of those who he has admired from a distance, especially Mme de Guermantes, the woman he virtuall
No longer confined to orbiting his parents and living for the freedom of a solitary walk, no longer living in thrall of adolescent hormones and grappling with the strange new worlds blossoming both within and without himself, The Guermantes Way finds our Narrator thrust ever forward into adulthood and the disappointing discovery that grown-ups rarely behave like adults, especially when the pride of ancestral inheritance is on the line and there are duplicitous societal niceties to abide by, whil ...more

Of the three volumes I've read so far, this is the one I loved most and found the most frustrating. Frustrating, from its beginning, with the narrator's obsession with Duchesse de Guermantes that mirrors his earlier obsessions, as if he hasn't learned anything, which is true: he hasn't learned a thing ... yet. This is a looking back on what he didn't know then with the knowledge he has now. So, of course, the reader sees before he does and to read of his later awareness is a joy ... mostly. T

“It is not possible to describe human life without bathing it in the sleep into which it plunges and which, night after night, encircles it like the sea around a promontory.” - Marcel Proust, The Guermantes Way

Having recently read Anais Nin’s thoughts in The Novel of the Future, a book in which she lauded Proust and similar authors for being sensitive to the subconscious and incorporating elements of philosophy and psychology in their writing, I was very eager to start reading this volume. Nin
Guermantes Way is like the pretentious, over-educated older sister of Budding Grove who constantly outdoes her little sister at everything. She's longer, she's more boring, she's more interesting, she's wittier and funnier, and she just loves to show off how much she knows.

We really get to know Saint Loup in this volume, as well as the Guermantes family in general - who are some pretty superficial crazies anyway. M., being a creep, stalks Mme. de Guermantes everyday on her morning walks, and be
--The Guermantes Way (In Search of Lost Time Volume III)

After being a little disappointed in the second volume of Proust, this one returns to the absolute wonderfulness of Swanns Way. I noticed that another reviewer commented on the addictive quality of Proust and I have to agree. A few weeks ago when I started Swanns Way I figured I'd read one of his books, and then maybe next summer go into the next one and leisurely through the remaining years of my thirties read one Proust book a year and enter into my forties being able to say that I'd read Prou ...more
Back when I was reading Swann’s Way, I expressed the wish that Marcel would relax a bit and let his witty side come out to play more. At the time, things were generally pretty intense and serious inside his head. (Yes, in fact, I do know I have a knack for understatement, thank you.) Between the madeleine, his mother obsession and his painstaking, point-by-point dissection of Swann’s love-jealousy process, it was a rather relentless windstorm. But, it must have been about three-quarters through, ...more
The third volume of In Search of Lost Time is the most Parisian of them all up to this point; that is to say, all of the events, with the exception of a brief jaunt to Doncieres to visit Robert de Saint-Loup at his barracks, take place within Paris, and more specifically, within the drawing rooms of the Faubourg St. Germain, the highest of the high of fin de siecle Parisian social circles. More so than the earlier volumes, The Guermantes Way is about the language of a society, about the customs ...more
Review of The Guermantes Way by Marcel Proust.
Shelf: 2013: The Year of Reading Proust,Classic-ever-enduring-appeal.
Recommended for: Proust Completionists.

We are attracted by every form of life which represents to us something unknown and strange, by a last illusion still unshattered.

I read this book in a purple haze of the summer daze– no,not the Hendrix variety rather a surreal read where words seemed to be scuttling across text,dropping off the pages,dimming when I focussed on them- closed t
A few years ago I was studying for my final tax law exams. At this concluding stage of my studies I got to focus on my specialist subject, which, obviously, was something that interested me. Sandwiched between the modules of my chosen field was one compulsory module; Ethics. Bastard Ethics. It was impossible to ignore and no amount of reasoned argument could obtain me a credit. I felt the amount of study required for this paper was outrageous; I resented my efforts being diverted from the sexy s ...more
Only I felt that it was not the sentence that was badly constructed but I myself that lacked the strength and ability necessary to reach the end. I would start afresh striving tooth and nail to climb to the pinnacle from which I would see things in their novel relations. And each time, after I had got about halfway through the sentence, I would fall back again, as later on, when I joined the Army, in my attempts at the exercise known as the 'bridge-ladder.'

Now, after more than a thousand pages
ReemK10 (Paper Pills)
Induction into the Guermantes Way

"Sometimes, hidden in the heart of its name, the fairy is transfomed to suit the life of our imagination, by which she lives; thus it was that the atmosphere in which Mme de Guermantes existed in me, after having been for years no more than the reflexion of a magic lantern and of a stained glass window, began to lose its colours when quite other dreams impregnated it with the bubbling coolness of swift-flowering streams ." (MKE 3)

Expectation. This third volume of

Proust continue à nous faire visiter la soi-disant haute société de la France du siècle dernier. Toujours le même petit univers étriqué, misérable et falot de ces gens embarrassés d'eux-même, que la vanité ne peut laisser en repos, et qui n'ont rien d'autre à faire qu'à s'observer, qu'à se dénigrer, qu'à ressasser leurs petits intérêts, au point de ne plus savoir par quoi se distinguer du tout-venant autrement qu'en étalant une fatuité aussi vaine qu'odieuse. Il peint cet univers crépusculaire a
Richard Magahiz
Jun 26, 2013 Richard Magahiz rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Proustians
This volume was harder to finish than the first two, because I am not naturally a fan of stories fascinated with silly celebrities. The nobles here are people known not so much for anything they think or do than for the antiquity of their genealogy and the extent of their fortunes. The Narrator character grows more and more fascinated with them for what they represent, taking a break from the obsessive attraction he's shown toward certain girls in the past. The second chapter starts out with a v ...more
Volume Three of Proust’s masterpiece, “In Search of Lost Time,” is widely regarded to be the most difficult, and least popular, in the series and so I approached it with a little trepidation. Of course, assuming you are embarking on “The Guermantes Way,” you have almost certainly read the first two volumes – if not, they need to be read in order, so please do start at the beginning – and, as such, you will be comfortable with the style and pace of writing. This will help to make “The Guermantes ...more
Five stars for the project, four stars for the bulk of this installment, although it leaps beyond stars every once in a while, which keeps me reading/rating it five stars. It's tough to pull off hundreds of pages of shallow conversations in super-rich salons of bygone Paris, but MP does it. (I'll add a quotation later on that comes around page 725 that sums up the narrator's take on this one's excessive frivolous talk.) Scenes of conversations among sometimes insufficiently characterized artisto ...more
Gracias a Proust, ultimamente pienso mucho en la sociedad.
En el, en particular, la sociedad francesa, los detalles que surgen en esos encuentros, cenas, reuniones. Los chismes, los rumores, lo "correcto", lo "incorrecto", la poca validez que tienen los títulos a esas alturas, pero que todo el mundo parece tener alguno. La muerte de su abuela. Las diferencias entre familiares, la política (el dreyfusismo, y anti dreyfusismo, como una manera de diferenciar judíos y anti semitas)
En general es frí
Proust was a genius. The intra- and inter- human workings that he describes are universal, and yet he presents them in such a way that they are inarguably sui generis and revelatory, offering each reader an intimate tête-à-tête. In other words he's constantly telling you things you know but didn't know you knew or things you know but could never articulate--even to yourself. If this sounds miraculous...good. It is. To be able to contemplate and savor feelings and ideas that may never have entere ...more
Nelson Zagalo
“O Lado de Guermantes” parece encerrar um primeiro ciclo no romance “Em Busca do Tempo Perdido”, no início Marcel tinha-nos dito que a sua casa, em Combray, apresentava dois lados, com dois caminhos de passeio possíveis, o de Swann e o de Guermantes. Assim, e depois de termos passeado com Swann no primeiro volume, neste terceiro volume visitámos e conhecemos em profundidade o lado que leva à família, de linhagem real, os Guermantes. Marcel deixou a adolescência e com ela as duas paixões do segun ...more
More than a commentary on Swann’s jealousy or M. Charlus’s homosexuality or the frivolity of the Guermantes’ sorties, Marcel Proust’s monumental work In Search of Lost Time paints the unsuccessful reconstruction of a forgone world and a lost existence from fickle memories, which like morning mists would fade with the rising sun. The narrator Marcel, longing for a past that didn’t exist but must be created, sought to experience Bergson’s continuous time rather than the fragmented and still-framed ...more
The first two volumes of this novel blew me away. This third novel was admittedly tougher for me personally. I got halfway through it the summer before grad school, put it down the day before math camp, and didn't pick it up again until two months after I graduated. Losing my momentum made it very hard to get back into it two years later. Furthermore, this entire novel was about Parisian high society, their parties, and the narrator's fascination with them. And what segment of the population cou ...more
The Guermantes Way feels like a turning point in In Search of Lost Time for me. By the end of Within the Budding Grove I was thoroughly frustrated with our narrator, wanting him to grow up already or have some deeper insight about the loves of his life than his admiring their beauty (an exaggeration, I know, but after several hundred pages it felt like the same repeated trope).

From other GoodReaders and Proustians, I'd gathered that this third volume of In Search of Lost Time contains some subs
Proust would both love and hate social networking -- Facebook, Twitter, etc. It would be the answer to his prayers (and would not have necessitated the writing of this opus):

Each of our actions, our words, our attitudes is cut off from the “world,” from the people who have not directly perceived it, by a medium the permeability of which is infinitely variable and remains unknown to ourselves; having learned from experience that some important utterance which we eagerly hoped would be disseminat
I didn't enjoy this book as much as I liked Swann's Way and Within A Budding Grove. The first half of the book was pretty good, and had some very funny parts, but the second half really dragged on forever, as 300+ pages of it consisted of the narrator's being present at this incredibly snobbish and boring dinner party. I'm guessing that Proust's intent in wirting the interminable dinner party scene was to point out all the absurd foibles of the social elite of Paris's Faubourg-Saint-Germain, but ...more
Still dazzlingly written but with a focus on Parisian society and the salon system. Our narrator has grown up a little and appears to have developed into a serial stalker with a princess obsession. Albertine and Swann crop up again and we see more of Saint-Loup. We also see the profound effect the Dreyfuss affair is having on French society. A good working knowledge of the Dreyfuss affair is a pre-requisite for reading this volume, especially as much of it centres on Parisian society.
The writing
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French novelist, best known for his 3000 page masterpiece À la recherche du temps perdu (Remembrance of Things Past or In Search of Lost Time), a pseudo-autobiographical novel told mostly in a stream-of-consciousness style. Born in the first year of the Third Republic, the young Marcel, like his narrator, was a delicate child from a bourgeois family. He was active in Parisian high society during t ...more
More about Marcel Proust...

Other Books in the Series

À la recherche du temps perdu (7 books)
  • Swann's Way (In Search of Lost Time, #1)
  • In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower (In Search of Lost Time, #2)
  • Sodom and Gomorrah (In Search of Lost Time, #4)
  • La Prisonnière (À la recherche du temps perdu, #5)
  • Albertine disparue (À la recherche du temps perdu, #6)
  • Time Regained (In Search of Lost Time, #7)

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“We may, indeed, say that the hour of death is uncertain, but when we say so we represent that hour to ourselves as situated in a vague and remote expanse of time, it never occurs to us that it can have any connexion with the day that has already dawned, or may signify that death — or its first assault and partial possession of us, after which it will never leave hold of us again — may occur this very afternoon, so far from uncertain, this afternoon every hour of which has already been allotted to some occupation. You make a point of taking your drive every day so that in a month’s time you will have had the full benefit of the fresh air; you have hesitated over which cloak you will take, which cabman to call, you are in the cab, the whole day lies before you, short because you have to be at home early, as a friend is coming to see you; you hope that it will be as fine again to-morrow; and you have no suspicion that death, which has been making its way towards you along another plane, shrouded in an impenetrable darkness, has chosen precisely this day of all days to make its appearance, in a few minutes’ time, more or less, at the moment when the carriage has reached the Champs-Elysées.” 10 likes
“Unkindness is inspired by hatred, anger fuels it into action in which there is no great joy; it would take sadism to turn it into something pleasurable; unkind people imagine themselves to be inflicting pain on someone equally unkind.” 6 likes
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