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

4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  3,226 ratings  ·  256 reviews
After the relative intimacy of the first two volumes of In Search of Lost Time, The Guermantes Way opens up a vast, dazzling landscape of fashionable Parisian life in the late nineteenth century, as the narrator enters the brilliant, shallow world of the literary and aristocratic salons. Both a salute to and a devastating satire of a time, place, and culture, The Guermante ...more
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Published (first published January 1st 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
in the strange world that us readers writers book-report-makers and reviewers inhabit, proust is considered one of - if not the - best. so we really must hold him to the highest standard, eh? his sentences? well, when marcel gets rolling on one of those proustian digressions, there really ain't much better. they're not necessarily my thing -- i prefer the more modern, clean, spare sentence -- but if you dig this kinda thing, proust is the john holmes of the sentence: he shoves 'em down your thro ...more
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

“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
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
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
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 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

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
This is the third volume of the series A La Recherche du Temps Perdu.

In this book, the author finishes the last step of the adolescence, with the death of art and that of childhood.

As historical background, the Dreyfus affair comes up into the narrative quite often, showing the characters that are against or in favor of this famous affair.

Page 7:
Ces années de ma première enfance ne sont plus en moi, elles me sont extérieures, je n’en peux rien apprendre que, comme pour ce qui a eu lieu avant no
In 'The Guermantes Way', Proust pushes several social forces together. He examines the cult of aristocracy, meditates on the role of the military in French society, examines French antisemitism through the Dreyfus affair, French art, and the banal conversations and selfish superficiality that permeate throughout the drawing rooms of the upperclass denizens of the Faubourg St. Germain.

Three times in the novel (the death of the Narrator's grandmother, the illness of of Amanien d"Osmond, and the a
Craig Werner
Impossible to respond adequately to this novel until I've finished reading the entire Recherche. There's a passage about 2/3 of the way through--for some reason my bookmark vanished, so I can't quote it here--where Proust mediates on the fact that the full pattern of a composition isn't visible until it's completed, when the interrelationship of all of the parts becomes clear. Even without relying on the numerous readers who have certified the Recherche as a masterpiece, there are enough moments ...more
Le Côté de Guermantes requires more effort from the reader than either of the previous two volumes of Proust's novel. It is longer, and several of the scenes could stand as smaller novels in their own right. The longest involves events that are mostly external to Marcel and his internal ruminations. This more outward concern with public life -- with the Dreyfus Affair in particular -- sets Guermantes apart from the immediacy of Marcel's experience that is characteristic of the first two volumes. ...more
Reading "The Guermantes Way" for me was a bit like wandering about a vast, somewhat dry field with a metal detector that here and there hit upon a valuable gold coin. Yes, I confess to long stretches of boredom as I pushed myself through the third volume in Proust's "In Search of Lost Time." After all, how much does a guy from lower middle-class Utah really want to know about Madame de Guermantes' dinner parties, even if that guy now does live part-time in Paris? But then, as I read along, I wou ...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
Mustafa Şahin
Müthiş derecede detaylı akrabalık ilişkilerinden dolayı yer yer bunalmış olsam da özellikle burjuva hayatı ve dönemin Fransa'sı hakkında söyledikleriyle sağlam bir 'üçüncü' kitap.
While I greatly enjoyed Swann's Way, The Guermantes Way was quick on its way to becoming my favorite installment in Proust's seven volume classic In Search of Lost Time, that is until the section on "The Guermantes Wit" (note that this is still a five star review; it may not necessarily be my favorite volume so far, but it is still a wonderful work in all). The Duc and Duchesse de Guermantes (and so many in their inner circle) are just unendurable characters, snobs clinging to the vestiges of th ...more
« 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
  • Marcel Proust's Search for Lost Time: A Reader's Guide to The Remembrance of Things Past
  • Marcel Proust: A Life
  • Proust and Signs: The Complete Text
  • Marcel Proust
  • Selected Letters
  • Marcel Proust: A Life
  • Lost Illusions (La Comédie Humaine)
  • La Curée (Les Rougon-Macquart, #2)
  • Monsieur Proust's Library
  • Against Nature (A Rebours)
  • The Temptation of St. Antony
  • Proust
  • Les caves du Vatican
  • Gargantua and Pantagruel
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls (Sparknotes Literature Guides)
  • Thérèse Desqueyroux
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)
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) Sodom and Gomorrah (In Search of Lost Time, #4) 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.” 8 likes
“A person does not, as I had imagined, stand motionless and clear before our eyes with his merits, his defects, his plans, his intentions with regard to ourselves (like a garden at which we gaze through a railing with all its borders spread out before us), but is a shadow which we can never penetrate, of which there can be no such thing as direct knowledge, with respect to which we form countless beliefs, based upon words and sometimes actions, neither of which can give us anything but inadequate and as it proves contradictory information — a shadow behind which we can alternately imagine with equal justification, that there burns the flame of hatred and of love.” 4 likes
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