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Remembrance of Things Past

4.34  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,551 Ratings  ·  326 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 1927)
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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 it was amazing  ·  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
Jan 30, 2016 Ben rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 12, 2015 Darwin8u rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aere-perennius, 2013

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
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)
Elena Holmgren
“We do not receive wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can make for us, which no one can spare us, for our wisdom is the point of view from which we come at last to regard the world. The lives that you admire, the attitudes that seem noble to you, have not been shaped by a paterfamilias or a schoolmaster, they have sprung from very different beginnings, having been influenced by evil or commonplace that prevailed round them. They re ...more
Mari Mann
May 10, 2013 Mari Mann rated it it was amazing
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
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
Avis Black
Dec 09, 2008 Avis Black rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Travelling Sunny
Nov 20, 2014 Travelling Sunny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1305-read, nook, january
In another LIST book (1Q84) it was said that unless you have the opportunity to be in jail or have to hide out for a long time, you can't read the whole of In Search of Lost Time.

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Volume 1. Swann’s Way ()
Volume 2. Within a Budding Grove ()
Volume 3. The Guermantes Way ()
Volume 4. Cities of the Plain ()
Volume 5. The Captive ()
Volume 6. The Fugitive ()
Volume 7. Time Regained ()

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Dec 28, 2014 Sandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Malini Sridharan
Jun 17, 2007 Malini Sridharan rated it really liked it  ·  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
This is a physically beautiful collection of seven books that I own, that I know I will never read. Got as far as page 50 in the first volume before I realized the whole series is about Proust waxing poetics about himself--it's actually not that terrible or terribly boring. He has a nice way with words, but he's not for me, especially now that I don't have to read gigantic classics anymore.

That's not the problem though. The problem is I can't seem to let go of these books, and I really should. T
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
Sep 10, 2008 Mitchel rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Oct 03, 2012 Bert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Jul 17, 2013 Rosalba rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 17, 2014 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Feb 08, 2016 Roberta is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: francesi, 1001

Ho sempre associato questa prima parte alla primavera e anche oggi mi fa lo stesso effetto. Immagino siano le descrizioni delle passeggiate e dei paesaggi. Non vedo l'ora che il tempo mi permetta di leggere all'aperto.
Intanto Swann ha incontrato Odette ed il guinzaglio si fa sempre più corto, fino a sfociare in un matrimonio socialmente esecrabile. Odette è un personaggio triste, una mantenuta senza altra dote che la bellezza, che non si fa scrupolo ad usare.
Odette e Swann
Alise Scheeler
So. Fucking. Long.
Jesus Christ, Proust.
Jan 29, 2013 Leonard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 02, 2014 Ben rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
“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
Dec 16, 2009 Abi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The dedicated and patient literature fan with a good deal of spare time.
Recommended to Abi 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
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
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
Leo Robertson
I think the easiest thing to do would be to start again, get a paperback of Swann's Way, like, way later, read it carefully and see if it's worth continuing. In terms of what I already (tried to) read, I doubt this one's for me.
Iago Fernández
Jul 17, 2012 Iago Fernández rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
En mi opinión, el mejor libro y el autor técnicamente más dotado de la historia de la literatura.

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
Nicholas Sparks
In seven volumes, it recounts the experiences of the Narrator while growing up, participating in society, falling in love and learning about art. Proust worked on it until his final illness forced him to stop in 1922. In fact, the last three of the seven volumes contain oversights and fragmentary or unpolished passages as they existed in draft form at the death of the author; the publication of these parts was overseen by his brother Robert.
Jocelyne Lebon
Dec 30, 2013 Jocelyne Lebon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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."
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  • Paintings in Proust: A Visual Companion to In Search of Lost Time
  • The Man Without Qualities
  • Marcel Proust's Search for Lost Time: A Reader's Guide to The Remembrance of Things Past
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  • Gargantua and Pantagruel
  • Bouvard and Pecuchet
  • Proust and Signs: The Complete Text
  • Berlin Alexanderplatz
  • The Charterhouse of Parma
  • History
  • The Blue Flowers
  • The Tale of Genji
  • Collected Stories
  • Romancero Gitano
  • Marcel Proust: A Life
  • Zeno's Conscience
  • بوستان سعدی
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...

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