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The Captive & The Fugitive (À la recherche du temps perdu #5-6)

4.4 of 5 stars 4.40  ·  rating details  ·  1,488 ratings  ·  131 reviews
The Modern Library’s fifth volume of In Search of Lost Time contains both The Captive (1923) and The Fugitive (1925). In The Captive, Proust’s narrator describes living in his mother’s Paris apartment with his lover, Albertine, and subsequently falling out of love with her. In The Fugitive, the narrator loses Albertine forever. Rich with irony, The Captive and The Fugitive ...more
Paperback, 957 pages
Published February 16th 1999 by Modern Library (first published 1925)
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Big Fat Fiction - Best of the Heavyweights
35th out of 260 books — 111 voters
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Belle Époque
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Community Reviews

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gore. juss. seriously - a perfect book. i am reviewing the captive and the fugitive. separately because even though modern library publishes them together in one volume, i don't want to lose this high i am on after reading the captive. what if the fugitive isn't as good!!?? i will not have the luster worn off my glee!

seriously, by the fifth installment, is anyone even paying attention anymore?? who remembers the fifth of anything?

but this one - i reacted to it the way most people reacted to swan
But in exchange for what our imagination leads us to expect and we give ourselves so much futile trouble trying to find, life gives us something which we were very far from imagining.
If you have come thus far in this search for time lost, here you may remember that, as unfeasible as it may seem, this is in fact but a part of a single work, one that built and built and has finally started to wind its way slowly down trains of thought already distilled, running on rails made efficient by readerl
The longest book I've ever read, longer than those with many more pages. I don't mean the complete Search -- I'm referring to this volume, a mere 936 pages that took me forever. If I'm honest with this impression, I should admit that I find Proust sort of stupefying most of the time. I can only read 15 pages at a time without dosing off or reaching for my phone. But every once in a while there's an image or insight that makes it all worthwhile. I mean, the book is regularly studded with the best ...more
I’ve attempted (this is already generous) to review each volume of In Search of Lost Time, but every time I finish reading one, I feel like I should just skip it this time around. To put it in banal and melodramatic terms, this book has really meant a lot to me. I think I’ll leave it at that rather than give in to my desire to gush in Proustian sentences about all the emotions, thoughts, and nostalgia I’ve experienced solely from imbibing and osmosing Marcel’s thoughts and feelings. It has been ...more
Again, the writing is so delicious that I tended to forget what an idiot the narrator is. Maybe I'm being harsh, but if I'd been in Albertine's shoes I would have left him long before she did.
I have taken to reading this after I get home from work. I deal with some of the more difficult spects of peoples' lives, mostly towards the end. I immerse myself in Proust for a while and forget the tensions of the day. I'm not sure how Proust kept the standard of writing so high, but he has.
Proust revisit

The frocks that I bought for her, the yacht of which I had spoken to her, the wrappers from Fortuny’s, all these things having in this obedience on Albertine’s part not their recompense but their complement, appeared to me now as so many privileges that I was enjoying; for the duties and expenditure of a master are part of his dominion, and define it, prove it, fully as much as his rights. And these rights which she recognised in me were precisely what gave my expenditure its true character: I h
Jan 16, 2015 Stephen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Stephen by: Fionnuala
Shelves: fiction
"Not once does one of my characters shut a window, wash his hands, put on his overcoat, utter a phrase of introduction. If there is anything at all new about this book this would be it."
-Proust to Robert Dreyfus. Quoted in Nathalie Sarraute's essay "The Age of Suspicion" (1957)
(Note: This is a review of volume 5 only, The Captive, with spoilers)

The focus of Sarraute's essay is that suspicion of others is one of those morbid reactions which prevents us from discovering what is new around us. Base
Jim Coughenour
I've been reading Proust on and off for 30 years. I've read Swann's Way at least three times in its entirety; and its immediate successors a couple times each. Every time I've been stopped by The Prisoner (or The Captive in the Moncrieff/Kilmartin edition) and The Fugitive, but I finally made it through.

For me the problem has always been that Marcel's obsessive love for Albertine stretched credulity: the voice and sensibility of the narrator is so plainly that of a man who loves men, not women.
"For my taste, Proust explains much: 300 pages just to make us understand that X screws Y is way too much."
— Louis-Ferdinand Céline. Letter for Milton Hindus.

Well, you better get ready for 700 pages on sexuality, dinner parties, jealousy, memory, art and beauty. Though for my taste, those ‘over-explained’ pages are one of the several things I like so much about Proust’s work. I actually got to know about that quote from a film: Laurence Anyways by Xavier Dolan; and, even though I don’t agree w
David Lentz
Modern Library's Volume V deals with the relationship between Marcel and Albertine. It is a complex, psychological relationship to say the least. In the Captive, Albertine lives with Marcel in his apartment in Paris and in The Fugitive one wonders who is, in fact, more captive -- Albertine or Marcel. It would seem to be Albertine for whom Marcel possesses an obsessive love and concurrent fear of her sapphic penchant. But it is also Marcel who will sacrifice experience if he makes a commitment to ...more
Sep 03, 2007 Eoin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers
Shelves: fictions
Who knew that bisexual French shut-ins knew everything? Ok, so maybe just everything about love and jealousy and memory and thought and being a person in the world. The new Proust translation is the alpha and the omega. The Fugitive has some strangle plot parts but the phrasing, imagery, pitch-prefect tone, and oceanic depth of understanding of the thing is impossible but extant. It is humbling and uplifting to read. One wonders, as Virginia Woolfe did, what else is there to write? Quit your job ...more
"Days in the past cover up little by little those that preceded them and are themselves buried beneath those that follow them. But each past day has remained deposited in us, as in a vast library where, even of the oldest books, there is a copy which doubtless nobody will ever ask to see."

How much I have thought of this passage lately, with old memories slowly creeping up from my subconscious as I continue my journey with Marcel Proust. I have of late been through many walks down long neglected
Richard Magahiz
I finished this book a week ago but it's taken me this long to start to organize my thoughts and feelings about this part of the seven volume saga. Our Narrator has learned certain lessons from his years among the smart society and when he acts on them he experiences first-hand how much real unhappiness they can bring. All the characters at the salon (in this book, the one hosted by the Verdurins, but also those which occupied central place in the previous volumes) are touched by insincerity in ...more
The heart is infinitely impressionable regarding everything that concerns the life of a certain person, so that a lie from that person causes that heart intolerable spasms. Our mind may go on reasoning interminably during these spasms, but it does no more to mitigate them by taking thought we can soothe an aching tooth.
- Proust, The Captive, p 295

Jealousy is a major theme throughout In Search of Lost Time with the generosity of Proust's variations on this theme comparable to that encountered in
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
Six hundred pages of which the overarching concern is the narrator's fanatic fear that his mistress, now living with him, is sneaking off in search of the Sapphic pleasures that he believes her to enjoy at least as much as his attentions. The captivity referred to in the title is expanded over the course of his musings to encompass both parties to all committed relationships, but the narrator's obsessiveness does become a bit wearying.

As such, the high points are mainly when some other topic com
My reactions to Proust are so all over the place. I find him very easy to read; it just takes me forever because every paragraph or so he is taking me off on a tangent with some personal connection he has forced me to make. And then he forces me to analyze that personal connection and evaluate whether or not I think Proust’s philosophy holds for me. And half an hour later I’m ready for the next paragraph.

But another overwhelming reaction to the guy is deep sympathy tempered by anger. Love for hi
Regarding the Prisoner, I defy anyone to find a more thorough and realistic treatise on lying that wasn't written by a scientist. And regarding both titles in this volume, 2 themes, among others, continue as before, with the narrator continually discovering the difficulties they create: different perceptions of reality, and internal vs. external reality of a person.
Paul Fulcher
In Search of Lost Time is of course a masterpiece. The language is so rich that I find I need to take it in small doses, like the best chocolate. So a year after finishing Sodom and Gomorrah, when I found myself overgorged (hence a 2 star review), my appetite returned.

Proust has his narrator proclaim that the best music is "truer than all known books ... (because) ... what we feel about life not being felt in the form of ideas, its literary, that is to say intellectual expression describes it, e
I just finished reading the first of the two books in this volume - The Prisoner. I will say that I really am beginning to sense the urgency of rereading the whole damned thing as soon as I finish the last volume. I am seeing that this is definitely a book to reread. Just reading it for the first time is laying the groundwork for the great experience it is.

Also, I am really aware in this volume that we must take the narrator with a lot of irony. As far as aesthetic observations and his observati
It consumed some three years of my life and most of my thought about literature, whether I was conscious of it or not. Proust's novel-cycle is omnivorous and omnigenic; it takes in everything; it gives birth to everything. You can't pretend it isn't periodically boring, but so may all great art be. Like Joyce and Woolf, Proust wanted to demand something of his readers, wanted them to know some measure of the labor and anxiety and fatigue he'd undergone in creating his work. I could write a whole ...more
Like the previous four volumes, both the Captive and the Fugitive are a delight. The Fugitive much more so than the Captive, in my opinion.

The Captive opens with Albertine moving into Marcel's Parisian home. His parents are conveniently absent. There's a lot to love about this volume, and I especially loved the scene when M. and Albertine are passing through the streets with all the sounds of vendors in the air - the way Proust brings to life that atmosphere really impressed me, and I felt very
Saïdeh Pakravan
I will review Time Regained and copy this review on all the volumes of A la recherche du temps perdu as Proust's work is called. I read it in French but can't find it listed so am doing this overall review of the English text of In Search of Lost Time or, as it used to be called, my preferred title Remembrance of Things Past.
I came late to this spectacular book despite encouragements from my mother who had read it cover to cover (several thousand pages in all) a number of times and talked about
Justin Evans
I'm shocked, shocked, that Goodreads readers seem to prefer this to the earlier volumes. I can see only three reasons for this: first, the people who would usually give Proust three or fewer stars aren't likely to get to the fifth and sixth books in the series, so only the truly masochistic fan-boys-and-girls are left. Second, people other than me really, really, really love offensively repetitious dribblings about jealousy, which makes up a large chunk of these two novels (although, I will say, ...more
[Albertine asleep:] On entering the room I had stood still on the threshold, not daring to make any noise, and I heard no other sound than her breath, rising and dying away on her lips, like the sound of waves, but softer and more subdued. And at that moment when my ear picked up that heavenly sound, it was as if it held, condensed in itself, the whole person, the whole life of the charming captive who lay there before my eyes. […] her lowered lids gave her face that perfect unity that open eyes ...more
This is the first volume that was published posthumously, without Proust's final edits, re-writes, and additions; it shows. There are errors here - many more than are in earlier volumes - such as Cottard being alive, then dead, then alive. Coupled with the fact that this volume, The Fugitive especially, epitomizes the Proustian stereotype of endless sentences and paragraphs and internal monologue, it's a somewhat tougher read than the last two. However, the themes of the novel as a whole are rea ...more
This pair of books had me feeling uncomfortable all the way through -- which is as close to 'edge of your seat' action as Proust gets. I consider this high praise, however, as Proust's greatest strength as an author, perhaps, is describing situations and feelings that are so utterly relatable while turning them inside out, examining them from every angle, and transforming them into the kind of obsessional preoccupation that contaminates your entire life.

The Captive, I view, as a cautionary tale
It's a classic story: boy meets girl, boy gets bored of girl, boy meets another girl, another girl is mysterious and maybe bisexual, boy gets obsessed with that girl, girl gets creeped out and leaves (view spoiler).

In The Captive and the Fugitive after much pining for Gilberte and now for Albertine, our Narrator has got himself a girlfriend! Albertine has moved in with him in Paris, and things are supposed to be going swimmingly.

This book is the embodiment of angst, anxiety, loss, and maybe even a little bit of recovery. Things actually happen, too. Big consequential things that have more plot value than the death of the narrator's grandma. The ending resolves a lot of the loose ends in a way that is shocking and perfect, so this last volume has a lot to live up to. I don't put it past Proust to deliver as we complete this vast accumulation of human lives, the closest experience to actually knowing fictional characters ...more
Apr 18, 2011 Aubrey is currently reading it
My relationship with Proust is like that of a battered housewife: although I am sure sometimes I hate him, I keep coming back. I have been reading this book on and off for almost two years now. I hate Proust, yet I find his observations inspiring. . . but I HATE how he goes on about nothing.

No, my relationship with Proust is like a love affair with a girl who can only talk about shoes and occasionally says something insightful. Or a pompous, art school intellectual who has some how endeared her
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  • For Whom the Bell Tolls (Sparknotes Literature Guides)
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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)
  • The Guermantes Way  (In Search of Lost Time, #3)
  • Sodom and Gomorrah (In Search of Lost Time, #4)
  • La Prisonnière (À la recherche du temps perdu, #5)
  • Albertine disparue
  • Time Regained (In Search of Lost Time, #7)
Swann's Way (In Search of Lost Time, #1) In Search of Lost Time  (À la recherche du temps perdu #1-7) In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower (In Search of Lost Time, #2) The Guermantes Way  (In Search of Lost Time, #3) Remembrance of Things Past: Volume I - Swann's Way & Within a Budding Grove

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“Let us leave pretty women to men with no imagination.” 422 likes
“The only true voyage, the only bath in the Fountain of Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to see the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to see the hundred universes that each of them sees, that each of them is; and this we do [with great artists]; with artists like these we do really fly from star to star. ” 43 likes
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