Remembrance of Things Past
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Remembrance of Things Past (À la recherche du temps perdu #1-7)

4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  5,260 ratings  ·  284 reviews
All seven volumes of Marcel Proust's 'a la Recherche du Temps Purdu' translated into English and bound in two volumes.
Hardcover, 2265 pages
Published 1934 by Random House (first published 1913)
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When you read Proust, and learn to appreciate his extraordinary, dreamy, hypnotic, truly inimitable style (this review is a mere shadow on the wall of a Platonic cave), which succeeds in making the syntax of language, usually as invisible as air, into a tangible element, so that, like literary yogis, we may feel, for the first time, how enjoyable the simple activity of reading, like breathing, can be; and discover the delights of sentences which took the author days to construct and us an hour t...more
Jul 31, 2009 Jessica rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: recherchers of temps perdu; rememberers of things past; snobs; size queens
I took today off work because I need to put everything I own into boxes so I can move tomorrow, but obviously I can't begin doing that until I get some of these obsessive thoughts about Proust out of my system. I mean, can I? Nope. I can't! After all, this house is where I read Proust -- wait, I read Swann's Way before I moved here, which is pretty nuts to think about -- and so how can I move without reviewing the whole thing?

I do feel pretty traumatized after finishing this book. Sort of shells...more
Celebrity Death Match Special: In Search of Lost Time versus Harry Potter

The francophone world was stunned by today's release of papers, sealed by Proust for 100 years after publication of the initial volume of his famous series, which finally reveal his original draft manuscripts. In the rest of this review, you can find out what Proust's books looked like before his well-meaning but unworldly editor decided that French literateurs would prefer something slightly different.

(view spoiler)...more
Initially published in French between 1913 and 1927, Marcel Proust’s seven-part work In Search of Lost Time (also called Remembrance of Things Past) has undergone a befuddling series of translations. The “Moncrieff–Kilmartin–Enright” version, made available for this Modern Library publication, is essentially the original C. K. Scott Moncrieff translation with further revisions by Terence Kilmartin in 1984 (based on the 1954 definitive French text) and D. J. Enright in 1992.

As I finish each volum...more
Why did Proust have to write a 4000 page novel, especially when there is not any discernable, coherent plot? Was it really necessary to have those extended society scenes, some of which lasted for 150 pages or so? Couldn’t the whole thing have been tightened up a little and cut down to 1000 pages or so?

I asked myself these questions at various points over the nine months it took me to journey through Proust’s masterpiece. It was not until the final two volumes (and particularly the latter half...more
Mari Mann
There are some writers that have made such a unique contribution to literature and to art that they are considered among the best, if not the best, and not just in their own country, but in the world. Such a writer was Marcel Proust. He has been called the greatest novelist of the 20th century, and the novel, A la Recherche du Temps Perdu, compared to Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling. But Michelangelo was known as “The Divine”, while Proust was called a hypochondriac, a dilettante, a homose...more
Andre Gide, who worked for the famous Gallimard press in the early 20th century, rejected Proust's manuscript for Swann's Way, which was the first installment of the epic Remembrance of Things Past. I often wonder whether or not he ever regretted this decision, but, then again, Gide had his reasons. As an avowed homosexual, he reproached Proust for the repressed homosexuality that was an obvious reality of the work. In example, the girl Albertine, who young Marcel pines for in the early stages o...more
The first volume of 'In Search of Lost Time' (ISoLT), or 'Remembrance of Things Past' (RoTP), or 'À la recherche du temps perdu' (Merde mère un autre?) was first published in France 100 years ago this month. I started reading in February, and now end this beast in November. Apparently, I needed a little wind-up to start and if the last 12 hours is any indication, I will need a wee bit of time to settle down from the mess Proust has left in my head.

This is a book that feels like a hypnotic river...more
11/2/2010 Oggi ho terminato di leggere "Dalla parte di Swann".
"Ma quando di un antico passato non sussiste niente, dopo la morte degli esseri, dopo la distruzione delle cose, soli, più fragili ma più intensi, più immateriali, più persistenti, più fedeli, l'odore e il sapore restano ancora a lungo, come anime, a ricordare, ad attendere, a sperare, sulla rovina di tutto il resto, a reggere, senza piegarsi, sulla loro gocciolina quasi impalpabile, l'immenso edificio del ricordo".
Il ricordo rimane v...more
Malini Sridharan
Jun 17, 2007 Malini Sridharan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people with a lot of time to kill or who need a reason to be pretentious
This book is good reading if you have huge chunks of captive free time (like my 50 minute train commute).If you cannot dedicate at least 1.5 hrs a day, 4-5 days a week to reading, it is probably not worth starting. At that pace, I finished the novel in about 4 months with a week break between each volume and a few days of desperate magazine huffing in the middle of Guermantes Way.

I read half in the modern library classics edition and half in the newer penguin translation. I had an easier time w...more
Avis Black
I read the whole damn thing, for which I feel like demanding a medal. A famous quote about this work goes, "I may be thicker skinned than most, but I just can't understand why anyone should take thirty pages to describe how he tosses about in bed because he can't get to sleep. I clutched my head."

I heartily agree. Nor do I like dinner parties that take longer to read about than they took to occur. The main problem with Proust (and his admirers) is that they are convinced that the French aristocr...more
Brent Hayward
The year of reading Proust. Amen. This was monumental, a life event, like having a child or losing a friend or seeing a wonder of the world. Proust himself, I imagine, must have been rather annoying, but this subtle and (of course) incredibly long rail was unforgettable.
Hossain Salahuddin
“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”

French novelist Marcel Proust (1871-1922) is probably the greatest and most influential novelist of last 100 years in any language. Proust spent the last 14 years of his life, lying on a narrow bed, writing an unusually long novel titled 'À la recherché du temps perdu' or 'In search of lost time'. Since the publication of the first of the 7 volumes in 1913, 'In search of lost time' ha...more
Sep 10, 2008 Mitchel rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who can appreciate it
Shelves: best-of-the-best
Every page of this book is packed with gorgeous, poetic writing and jaw-dropping, often hilarious psychological observation. Proust does not prop himself up with over-complex structures, is not confusing, is not gratuitously strange. He understood life preternaturally well and wrote about it preternaturally well. This is the novel of all novels. But read cautiously: Proust will dissect your most intimate thoughts and motivations, and he will be as accurate as a sniper.

"All our final decisions a...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
Meraviglioso. Non è un tomo, non è l’Everest da scalare, è un viaggio nella memoria, una rievocazione del passato, un percorso fatto di sensazioni e emozioni, il viaggio della vita, da assaporare con la lentezza che lo caratterizza. Non manca nulla in questo capolavoro, tutti i sentimenti sono rappresentati e perciò il lettore non può non ritrovarsi e non condividere le molteplici riflessioni di Marcel Proust sull’infanzia, sull’amore, l’amicizia, l’arte, la letteratura. Unico inconveniente è st...more
Dec 16, 2009 Abigail rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The dedicated and patient literature fan with a good deal of spare time.
Recommended to Abigail by: Timothy Baycroft
I read this because of Timothy Baycroft. I took his module on the Third Republic in France, HST234, in the first semester of my second year. I asked his advice on what novel to read to gain a better understanding of the period. À La Recherche Du Temps Perdu was his recommendation. And so it began. I later asked him how long it had taken him to read it, and it turns out he never has. I felt slightly conned, but this is now outweighed by gratitude because I never would have read Proust without his...more
In my 20's I attempted Proust Swanns Way, I recall actually throwing the book across my room in frustration. I did not understand how it could be possible to read scentences that never end on themes that seemed so trivial. I came back to Proust in my 40's and ended up spending the best three months of my life consuming his Masterpiece. Maybe I had to grow up and live more before sitting with the monumental task of entering a world so carefully and wisely crafted. I don't believe just anyone at a...more
I am somehow to my last In Search of Lost Time review. I'm not sure how this has happened, as it doesn't seem like almost a year ago that I was first ordering Swann's Way and reading the first few pages. I was reading about sleep, falling asleep, and reading about mint tea before violent episodes of flu. Now, almost a year later, I have a set of creased, abused, fallen down from bus seats, fallen out of hands onto driveways editions of Proust, some of which with the marked dates of where the rea...more
I know it: nobody needs another review of In Search of Lost Time. But with a book this big, it doesn't feel sufficient to slap a star rating on it and say DONE!

There's really only one question with regard to this monster, right? Is it worth it?

Um, probably?

What can I tell you? There's a huge temptation to compose a readymade reflection, something pithy and easily deployed at dinner parties. Yet what a disservice to the book! The dreariest response a novelist can receive is a simple "It's great!...more
“How much more worth living did [life] appear to me now, now that I seemed to see that this life that we live in half-darkness can be illumined, this life that at every moment we distort can be restored to its true pristine shape, that a life, in short, can be realized within the confines of a book! How happy would he be, I thought, the man who had the power to write such a book! What a task awaited him!”

I wrote reviews of each of the seven volumes of Proust’s classic, À la recherche du temps pe...more

Io da romantico avevo pensato che il "tempo perduto" si riferisse alle occasioni perse, a quel tempo che non abbiamo mai vissuto. Invece Proust attacca una piangina per il tempo perduto inteso proprio come il passato (ed in questo primo tomo focalizza sull'adolescenza). Una prima parte che dovrebbe corrispondere all'infanzia dell'autore, bambino cagionevole ed un po' (tanto) lagnoso ci racconta quanto fosse odiosa la sua famiglia piccolo borghese da una parte e quanto morb...more
Steve Turtell
If the time spent with an author is any indication, I love Proust as much as I do Shakespeare, Homer and the various authors of The Bible. It took me ten years to make my way all the way through In Search of Lost Time. I started when I was sixteen and read Swann's Way three times before moving on to Within a Budding Grove (I was using the only English version available then, by C.K. Scott Moncrieff), which I re-read before moving on to The Guermantes Way, which I also re-read. I was now twenty-f...more
Jocelyne Lebon
In lieu of a review I was going to encapsulate the essence of ISOLT into a haiku, but instead of the brainstorm of neural crackles and flashes of insight I was hoping for, all I am getting is an indifferent draft, and the pristine page stares back at me with stony defiance. My lyrical muse is obviously AWOL.

I therefore decided to post this goofy video in which I indulged my zany self. It is titled "How Proust can improve your life."
a very beautiful boredom slowly and elegantly floats around like a chain of lazy smokes in windless dim-lighted bedroom searching for immortality of artistic creation
Remembrances of Things Past is the definition of a difficult book. Epic in scope, scale and length, it challenges the mind and the patience. That it is one of the greatest accomplishments in literature in the history of man kin is unquestionable. Where that leaves the reader is up to debate. It is impossible for a books of such length and scale to have a singular effect on the reader, and to attempt to define it in such a simple venue is the height of hubris. What can be said humbly is that Reme...more
Leo Robertson
Robert Hellenga
I read "Swann's Way" three or four times before getting up enough steam to keep going. Then I read the whole in the old Scott Moncrief translation. I was so blown away that I went out and spent $90 for the new Modern Library revamped translation (6 vols.) and read that. This has notes so you can find out what the really seriously naughty phrase is that Albertine almost uses, a phrase that doesn't actually appear in the text but that's so potent it brings conversation to a halt.
There are stret...more
Czarny Pies
There is a famous passage in this cycle in which Proust bites into a madeleine and suddenly his past memories surge up in his mind. He then starts to write down all these delightful memories which will become his seven volume masterpiece.

Unfortunately, getting into this novel also requires a madeleine or some other trigger to come from some unexpected source. With a normal novel one simply grits ones teeth and plows forward until one finally develops an interest. With A la recherché du temps per...more
E' meraviglioso come in questo romanzo, per pagine e pagine, accada poco più di niente e come questo poco più di niente sia così mirabilmente e doviziosamente e ironicamente narrato!
Un vero godimento!
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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...
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 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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