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À l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs (À la recherche du temps perdu, #2)
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À l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs (À la recherche du temps perdu #2)

4.39 of 5 stars 4.39  ·  rating details  ·  4,299 ratings  ·  339 reviews
L'expression roman fleuve devrait, sans connotation péjorative, désigner une œuvre qui prend le temps de charrier mille petites particules d'impression pour les infuser dans l'esprit d'un lecteur captivé. En somme, elle devrait avoir été créée pour désigner La Recherche proustienne, qui s'ouvre Du côté de chez Swann et s'achève une fois Le Temps retrouvé.

Dans le premier t

Paperback, 484 pages
Published January 1992 by Gallimard (first published 1913)
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Community Reviews

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Ian Paganus de Fish
A Note about the Translation

I wanted to support the translation of this volume by James Grieve, a lecturer at my alma mater, Australian National University, when I was there in the 70’s.

I’m pretty sure he taught two of my close friends. While I can’t recall meeting him, I did socialise with one of his colleagues, Robert Dessaix, who subsequently became a talented writer.

It was a very capable French Department. However, in the 90’s, it was decimated by budget cuts and Grieve was made "redundant"...more
sorry, david. this book is better than swann's way. to the extent that i may have to go back and give swann's way three stars so that when i give this book four stars it doesn't make them equals, and, having four books to go, i want to leave room for a five-star anticipation. the first half of swann's way had me understanding what people did not like about proust. there was a lot of me hating on the narrator and gacking over his precious daintiness. this one, though, phoar. it is true it took me...more


On my review of Du côté de chez Swann I had concentrated on the pre-eminence of the visual. The careful attention paid by Proust to light, to colour, to objects that add colour such as flowers, and to painting and the visual arts in general, led me to conceive of his art as painterly writing. All those elements continue in this second volume. I could easily select another rich sample of quotes that would illustrate this visual nature. Indeed, sight is explicitly des...more


Or: The Brain on Proust

There’s a group of 7 ladies I’ve known for quite some time. We meet regularly for afternoon tea, going round turn and turn about, although Barbara has now been excused from hosting in deference to her great seniority and some health issues that come along with the seniority. We have nothing in common except that we are all English native speakers, living here in Germany, and all of us married at one time or another to German husbands. So it’s only the language that con...more
Beauty is truth, truth beauty.
-John Keats

Let us first treat this as a premise, a maxim if you will, this quote from a long dead poet with a penchant for ancient pottery. Then, let us strip whatever meaning that has accrued upon it. Whether it resulted from pure instinct or rote memorization, fling it all away, and leave just the words. Little as they are, they are more than enough.

So, beauty is truth, truth beauty. Now, what is beauty? What is truth?

We sacrifice to beauty in all its forms, the...more
There's a lot of stuff in Volume 2 of A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu, and people see different things in it. To me, though, the unifying theme is a continuation of Proust's analysis of how romantic relationships work, which he started in Un Amour de Swann. There, he examined one particular kind of relationship. Swann spends a fair amount of time with Odette, who is very nice to him and keeps saying how she wishes she could see him more often. Without realizing it, he comes to rely on her always t...more
The only book I've ever abandoned after the first sentence.

And what a sentence! But I'll come back to that. Let me first hasten to defend myself, to present my credentials, because I realise that Proust is held in such high esteem as to be almost beyond criticism – not in the real world of course, that would be ridiculous, but on Goodreads certainly. Of the 29 Goodreads friends who have rated this, 25 give it five stars, three give it four stars – one (the only French reader) gives it three. Tha...more
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
An Open Letter to Marcel Proust:

Sir, thank you for having written what must be known only as one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century; a work of genius.

Unfortunately, this letter cannot be a letter of exaltation, but a rather a letter of apology. You deserve all the adulation which you have received these past 100 years since the first volume of your novel was published. And the Proust group on goodreads is testimony to the faith which you have properly placed in your readers’ abiliti...more
the review is missing.
below are the comments which followed.

David – You’re wrong that this is better than Swann’s Way and you’re wrong in calling Proust an ‘anti-romantic’. Try again, jewtard!

Brian – read more carefully, gothskimmer. i wrote that ‘one could say’ that proust was anti-romantic. all i mean is that his extreme nuerosis and need to analyze everything (to death!) does, in a sense, reduce every creature to a 'thinking machine'. after hundreds of pages of his wildly in-depth analysis i...more
I like to read books about people’s fucked up relationships more than I like to read about how lovely the flowers smell along the French seaside (unless of course the flowers are a blatant euphemism for something else), so I did not end up rating Within a Budding Grove quite as highly as I rated Swann’s Way.

The first half of the book was great and made true my prediction that the narrator would experience a “Swann–Odette” type of relationship with Gilberte, replete with its ups and downs and its...more
Nick Craske
This second volume within Proust's panorama of self and senses shifts from the inner salons to the outer sea side alcoves and sun drenched hotel lobbies. There is an energy and vitality to this second book which is projected through even more vivid character portraits and through Proust's evocative expression of his infatuations and obsessions.

There's a greater sense of space, of terrain and the broader environment. For me this seemed to allow the often claustrophobia inducing long-winding-inne...more
Oh, adolescence. Is there any period of time more frustrating, conflicting and downright disappointing than that too-long span of gawky limbs and endless opportunities for embarrassment? When one's body is alien territory, when one is faced with an onslaught of wholly unfamiliar impulses, when the head and the heart and all of the hormones are battling for control over a vessel that just wants things to make the kind of black-and-white sense they did in the blissfully naive days that are just ou...more
I went to a conference in England recently, a dull and painful conference for work. My flight left Jersey at 7am and I had a lengthy train journey to follow. Quite accidentally, I got totally hammered on cosmopolitans the night before. During the long and humbling expedition, me and my hangover managed to do three things: drink tea, eat ready salted Walkers crisps and read Proust.

Ah, Proust's luscious musical prose was like a soothing balm to my throbbing head. The narrator, gentle and captivat...more
What Proust was, and what In Search of Lost Time, when given the proper air and light, the proper attention, can instruct others to be, is an astute pupil of life. He was perhaps the most exacting and astute observer in modern literature, and his dedicated readers are, in essence, forced also to become as aware, as exacting, in their own perceptions, not only as they wade the ebb and flow of his tide of words, but beyond that, when the book is closed and put away. For as the sound of the ocean a...more
“Back in Paris in the May of the following year, how often I was to buy a sprig of apple from a flower-shop, then spend the night hours in the presence of its blossom, which was steeped in the same creamy essence as the frothy dust on the unopened leaf-buds…”- Marcel Proust, In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower

In Part 1 of Volume 2 of “In Search of Lost Time”, we meet the narrator, who is now in his early teens and is in love with Gilberte Swann, and is at the same time infatuated with her mo...more

Review of Within a Budding Grove by Marcel Proust.
Shelf: Modern fiction,2013- The year of reading Proust.

A character,the Marquis de Norpois quotes a fine Arab proverb, The dogs may bark; the caravan goes on. And so the ISOLT saga continues– Marcel has a meandering tale to tell and he will take his fine time telling that–fall in line or else,vamoose!

A lot happens in the second book– new characters,new themes are introduced. Old characters & old themes are expanded upon. Marcel gets to share...more
Upon checking into a hotel in Venice in the summer of 2006, the man behind the reception desk raised his eyes in surprise when he saw the length of our stay. “Four nights,” he commented. “Lovely. We rarely see people stay for more than a couple of nights. Most only stay for one.”

Neither my wife nor I had ever been to Venice prior to this trip, and like any other person vaguely familiar with the city, we had a rich imagination of the charms we would behold: the canal streets, stripe-shirted gond...more
May 03, 2009 Jessica rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone intent on kissing dupont's ass/making an effort to appear more highbrow
I'm certainly no great master of the French language, which must be why I'm completely mystified by how A l'Ombre des Jeunes Filles en Fleurs translates to Within a Budding Grove.

Good thing I have the ever-trustworthy (....???) C. K. Scott Moncrieff to translate this all for me!



I GIVE UP! I mean, not permanently, but for now, yeah, I do. I give UP! I give UP!!! I give up on this Proust! I give up despite this recent line: "I ask you, what in the world can he see in her?...more
If a reading experience could turn you into a butterfly, that would be the magic in this book. And would any of us be surprised by Proust having that kind of conjuring power, the wizardry to misremember us into flying, floating little bugs? No. There is surely magic in these pages, in its remembering and misremembering, in shaping and re-shaping: magic to move beauty marks all around faces, to remember dresses into petals and monocles to wings. In the end, Proust remembers us all into flowers an...more
Now just past his adolescent years, our nameless little narrator friend spends time at the Balbec beach and basks in the ambit of some fine young lasses after chatting with a kindly ambassador and a famous (albeit brutishly dressed and mannered!) writer he admires. The bits with Bergotte, the great writer, were fun -- I love great writers as imagined by great writers (the only other one I can think of is Arnheim in Musil's The Man Without Qualities, Vol. 1). I'm having trouble recapturing all th...more
Giving only four stars to this book seems like a sacrilege. There was something about Within a Budding Grove, that didn't quite live up to the beauty of Swanns Way. While the first book followed quite closely the adventures of M. Swann and his love affair with Odette, this book stays almost entirely in the perceptions of the narrator. The wonderful social aspects of the first novel are diluted in this novel, and the cast of characters is reduced, giving this a more claustrophobic feeling. Not th...more
I didn't enjoy this volume quite as much as volume one; but nevertheless it was still excellent moving in time from the early to the late teens of the narrator. In many ways the narrative story is superfluous. Proust's genius lies in his descriptive abilities and his knack of distilling human thoughts and emotions.
The stuff of the narrative is the boring and mundane; french upper middle class life in the late nineteenth century. The narrator is sometimes irritating and sometimes not very likeab...more
ReemK10 (Paper Pills)
Desire, Longing and the Power of Pollination

After an initial period of withdrawal where I was desperately longing for the metrical sentences of a Lydia Davis translation, I was eventually able to adapt and enjoy this volume.

Volume number 2, "Within a Budding Grove", of Proust's "In Search of Lost Time" is a longing for something more real than anything the narrator could ever imagine. There is desire for Odette, Gilberte, and of Albertine Simonet (with only one n). Let us also not forget that c...more
"For a pleasure divested of imagination is a pleasure reduced to itself, to nothing." (p. 377)

À la recherche du temps perdu is a fluid cross-country drive through sunrise skies of ever-blossoming oranges, pinks, and violets, sidekicked with a road mix designed by a more perspicacious iTunes Genius® sidebar. After I finish the whole shebang, to staunch the inevitable sense of loss that will come, I may just continue to read this pacific novel on loop, in fits and in starts, in silence and in savo...more
Richard Magahiz
Apr 24, 2013 Richard Magahiz rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers with patience
This second volume in Proust's In Search of Lost Time is another sprawling, stream of consciousness work with a plot which is very much in the background. The Narrator's eye focuses on a person or object which seems to have symbolic importance, yet the meaning of the symbol is not made immediately apparent. Throughout there is a free-floating sense of time and of space, in which scenes go off on tangents and are never fully resolved, and memories and expectations intrude upon the mental image, o...more
If you crammed Montaigne into Tolstoy, added Austen's wit, Wharton's savagery, Woolf's precision, Faulkner's tempo, Joyce's sensuality and a theory or system of the mind far superior to Freud--all that plus addictive readability--you'd get Proust. Don't let anyone tell you it's difficult or boring. Bullshit. The Search is a vast gorgeous hilarious euphoric soap opera that's as long as, say, a seven-season HBO or AMC award-winning drama, only more cinematic.
Un bon roman. Proust continue à nous présenter son univers, avec un œil aiguisé, malin et sensible. Ça se lit très facilement, je l'ai dévoré.
Mike Clinton
At the risk of offering an analogy juxtaposing the trite with the magisterial - although that's much in keeping with the Proustian approach itself: if the "Seinfeld" series is about "nothing", then Proust's grand novel "A la recherche du temps perdu" is about "everything". Those philosophically minded might point out that if it's about everything, then it's about nothing - an observation sound to those of a logical or a mystical cast of mind equally. So it's about nothing, too, then. It's a grea...more
Sunny in Wonderland
Probably just as good as #1, but I found myself growing tired of the story or, maybe, the writing style this time around.

There weren't nearly as many surprises to be found buried in the storytelling. In Swann's Way, we were surprised by the strange couple in the window when Swann was trying to spy on Odette. We were surprised to find that he ended up marrying the same woman. Yet, in this volume, there were only one or two surprises to be had, and those didn't pack nearly the same punch.

But, this...more
Patience is a virtue. I've fallen behind the Proust 2013 schedule, but I will not rush this. I'm doing a combination audio and paper reading of this and enjoying it immensely. I'm pretty sure i will be rereading all the volumes repeatedly...ISOLT might be my desert island book.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Paintings in Proust: A Visual Companion to In Search of Lost Time
  • Proust's Way: A Field Guide to In Search of Lost Time
  • Lost Illusions (La Comédie Humaine)
  • The Man Without Qualities, Vol. 2: Into the Millennium
  • Marcel Proust
  • Monsieur Proust
  • Proust
  • Selected Letters
  • Bouvard and Pecuchet
  • Proust's Overcoat: The True Story of One Man's Passion for All Things Proust
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls (Sparknotes Literature Guides)
  • Against Nature (A Rebours)
  • Count d'Orgel's Ball
  • The Masterpiece (Les Rougon-Macquart, #14)
  • The Erasers
  • The Immoralist
  • Mademoiselle de Maupin
  • Calligrammes: Poems of Peace and War (1913-1916)
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...
Swann's Way (In Search of Lost Time, #1) In Search of Lost Time  (À la recherche du temps perdu #1-7) The Guermantes Way Remembrance of Things Past: Volume I - Swann's Way & Within a Budding Grove Sodom and Gomorrah (In Search of Lost Time, #4)

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