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Sodom and Gomorrah (À la recherche du temps perdu #4)

4.38  ·  Rating Details ·  3,713 Ratings  ·  288 Reviews
In Sodom and Gomorrah, Proust's narrator not only depicts the class tensions of a changing France at the beginning of the twentieth century but also exposes the decadence of aristocratic Parisian society and muses upon the subjects of homosexuality and sexual jealousy.
Paperback, 639 pages
Published December 16th 1996 by Vintage (first published 1921)
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this is the volume of ISOLT that michael bay will turn into a big budget summer blockbuster, mark my words. there are action verbs!! verbs, i tells ya!

and picture this on the big screen: we open with our hero, crouching behind some flower bushes, unmoving - waiting, just waiting for a bee to come around and assist in the pollination of the flowers.(pshow, whoosh - many michael-bayish essplosions) and although not strictly supported by textual evidence, i expect his little sticky hand was at the
When they are happy, calm, satisfied with their surroundings, we marvel at their precious gifts; it is the truth, literally, that speaks through their lips. A touch of headache, the slightest prick to their self-esteem, is enough to alter everything. The luminous intelligence, become brusque, convulsive and shrunken, no longer reflects anything but an irritable, suspicious, teasing self, doing everything possible to displease.

It was indeed the corrupting effect, as it was also the charm, of thi
Fluid becomes solid and then fluid again. Changing states, crossovers, transformations. Words produce pictures that turn back into words, black marks on a white page; dots, accents, commas, shapes of letters, enter through the cornea, the retina, the optic nerve, are processed into......... into what? Images, characters, narrative, scenes, landscapes, weather, tableaux, dialogue, spectacle, sensation. Reactions.

The cities of the plain:Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboim, Bela.
But Proust takes his t
Roy Lotz
As our vision is a deceiving sense, a human body, even when it is loved as Albertine’s was, seems to us to be a few yards’ at a few inches’ distance from us. And similarly with the soul that inhabits it.

A good case can be made that these books should be read one after the other, so as not to lose the narrative thread or to forget the many characters involved. But I am finding that an equally good case can be made for spacing them out. Memory is crucial to this novel; the remembrance of things
As Sodom and Gomorrah began, our Narrator was struggling to understand the nature of homosexuals while I was alternating between reading his early-twentieth-century musings and poring over sweetly triumphant images of same-sex couples rushing to "legitimize" their long-running relationships with celebratory midnight marriages. As the strange continent of "inverts" draws horticultural allusions and comparisons to covert societies in Proust's time, the LGBTQ community is finally being recognized i ...more
Apr 27, 2010 Geoff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finished Sodom and Gomorrah over a week ago, and since then I've been mulling over whether to write a proper "review" of it or not. It was the most amorphous of any of the volumes yet, and thus it is slightly more difficult to speak about, or really wrap my thoughts around. Also, at this point, considering any of the volumes of A la recherche... to be distinct entities starts to become a bit silly. Certainly, Swann's Way, up through the "novel within the novel" Swann in Love (volume one), coul ...more

Recommended for: Proust completionists.

"The conversation of a woman one loves is like the soil that covers a subterranean and dangerous water; one feels at every moment beneath the words the presence, the penetrating chill of an invisible pool; one perceives here and there its treacherous percolation, but the water itself remains hidden."

As the title indicates, the fourth book of the ISoLT series deals with the nature of Desire, of the forbidden kind. The voyeuristic window that earlier tenta
Jul 05, 2015 Teresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This translator (Moncrieff) was too circumspect to call this volume Sodom and Gomorrah, the original title; nevertheless, Proust's theories on "Sodom and Gomorrah" come through loud and clear. Reading Proust's introduction, I was immediately struck by the timeliness and timelessness of its theme: to a certain extent, he could be writing of today. The beginning of the introduction is also very funny; our narrator continues his snooping ways even while he's on tenterhooks over his own obsessive lo ...more
Jun 06, 2013 Darwin8u rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“But sometimes the future is latent in us without our knowing it, and our supposedly lying words foreshadow an imminent reality.”
― Marcel Proust, Sodom and Gomorrah


Reviewing 'Sodom and Gomorrah' puts me in an awkward spot. What are the risks of looking back obliquely on Proust's fourth volume of 'In Search of Lost Time' (ISOLT)? Will any indirect reference to Proust's army of inverts turn me into a pillar of salt? Will I disquiet my friends and my family with funky quotes from Proust's salon-ce
Mar 22, 2015 Edward rated it it was amazing
--Sodom and Gomorrah (In Search of Lost Time Volume IV)

Jun 10, 2009 Bram rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, proustophilia
(Mild, general spoilers)
Ah, Proust, damn you. Damn you, damn you. You tricked me. You took me along for a pleasant ride, one filled with glorious introspection, a “slice” of life so elongated and plotless (at least as much as in real life), that I expected to be carried gently through to the end with a slow rippling buzz, nostalgic yet never heart-wrent. But then you went ahead and wrote the final 17 charged pages of Sodom and Gomorrah , sentencing me to 1200 final pages of sorrow and anguish. F
Jul 08, 2013 Lee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let's say three stars for interminable party scenes and seven stars for solo Marcel going on about grandma and dreams and seeing an airplane for the first time (maybe my favorite page/paragraph so far -- the end of 581 and most of 582 -- typed up for safekeeping below). Oh place names reduced to their historical tribal derivation and places reduced to fancy homes where one is always welcome. That's sort of like the opposite of the madeline-induced association -- instead of something small myster ...more
Feb 20, 2016 Teresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-frança, e5
(Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Bal du moulin de la Galette)

"As pessoas não param de mudar de posição relativamente a nós. Na marcha insensível mas eterna do mundo consideramo-las imóveis, num instante de visão, demasiado curto para que se apreenda o movimento que as arrasta. Mas basta que escolhamos na nossa memória duas imagens delas em movimentos diferentes, porém bastante próximos, para que não se tenham alterado em si mesmos, ao menos de maneira sensível, e a diferença entre as duas imagens é a me
Michael Finocchiaro
As the title implies, Sodom and Gomorra is the descent into hell - or more aptly, the cruel and unseemly underside of the society described by Le Coté de Guermantes. We have the craven Charlus and Jupien (mirroring the lesbian scene that the narrator sees in the first book). The narrator has his first taste of death and mourning as his grandmother which cuts him to the bone. It is an exciting and brutal book full of action and description in equal parts and the growing obsession of the narrator ...more
I just finished Volume 4 and have jumped right into Volume 5 with sheer excitement. I haven't written any other Proust reviews, but this Volume was easily the best for me so far so I thought I should share a few words.

Deep into ISOLT, the whole Time/Memory things is only now really starting to click for me. I think emphasizing Time/Memory over Recognition/Awareness is a little deceptive and maybe makes grappling with Proust's themes a more abstract and esoteric process than it ought to be. A lar
David Lentz
Jun 21, 2011 David Lentz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some have accused Proust of being "long-winded." However, he suffered acutely from shortness of breath but not shortness of breadth. Proust preferred to work on a large canvas. Having read the first four volumes of "In Search of Lost Time," I am even more convinced that Proust is a literary talent of the highest order. He is a writer of immense sensibility in the true sense of the word. His perception and memory and intelligence permeate his writing. Like Balzac, whom he admired, Proust focused ...more
Jul 06, 2015 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to say, M. Proust really pulled this book out for me. I was not enjoying much of the middle of the book, but the last third was excellent and revived my spirits for continuing on with the saga. Once again it was some of the Salons that tended to decrease my connection although the descriptions of the Balbec area and our narrator's return to the coast caught me up again.

In a section that seemed to sum up much of the meaning of this book, Proust writes:

Other women, it was true, had been int
Nov 16, 2013 Bettie☯ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Description: Desperate to avoid the tortures of love, Marcel tries to make himself unavailable to Albertine. Meanwhile, the Baron de Charlus suffers heartbreak.
Stars James Wilby.

Revisiting, via BBC R4x, all the books in remembrance, our world has altered too.
Oct 22, 2016 Isabel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001-books, 2016
P. 338- "Porque o instinto de imitação e a ausência de coragem governam tanto as sociedades como as multidões. E toda a gente se ri de uma pessoa de quem vê os outros fazerem troça, mas não deixará de a venerar dez anos mais tarde num meio onde é admirada. É dessa mesma forma que o povo expulsa ou aclama os reis."
Deniz Balcı
Modern romanın en önemli başyapıtlarından gösterilen 'Kayıp Zamanın İzinde' eserinin bence en güzel durağı 'Sodom ve Gomorra'dır. Yapmış olduğum ikinci okumamda, ilk okumam esnasında gözden kaçırmış olduğum şeyleri büyük bir şaşkınlıkla en baştan ve daha kapsamlı bir şekilde özümseme fırsatı buluyorum.

Benim için tüm zamanların en iyi yazarı Marcel Proust'tur. Elbette çok göreceli ve öznel sebeplerim var bunun için ama genel geçer görüşte de Proust'un yeri altın harflerle kazınmış durumda. Moder
Mar 21, 2013 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: european-novels
I don't need to detail the plot it meanders on as beautifully written as ever with the Guermantes and Verdurins being wonderfully silly as ever. The narrator continues to pursue and Albertine and get bored of her. The minor characters stand out in this volume; Charlus, Morel and the members of the salons.
Proust explores homosexuality in some detail; both male and female. Of course the Proust scholars continue to debate the real nature of the narrator's lovers; Albertine, Andree and Gilberte are
Apr 17, 2012 Vale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Il romanzo inizia con una scena di sesso tra due uomini, dopo un preludio metaforico tra un calabrone e un'orchidea. Alla faccia della Cattleya, con cui nel primo romanzo Proust alludeva al sesso.
Il tema di questo quarto capitolo dell'opera Alla ricerca del tempo perduto è proprio l'omosessualità, ma attenzione, Proust si concentra sulle falsità legate alla sessualità degli individui, a quanti sfruttino il proprio corpo per ottenere del potere e a quanti fingano una eterosessualità inesistente,
Aug 04, 2013 Hadrian marked it as on-hold  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french, epic, fiction
I'm sorry, I'm putting this whole series back on the 'to-read' list for now.

It's not that they're bad. It's the precise opposite. I have been so distracted with work and other books that I've fallen behind schedule and now I've forgotten the events and even some of the characters.

I enjoyed the three books I did finish immensely. I did not place as much emphasis on the character interactions, as a novel of this scale is so vast that I did not focus on the totality of it. Instead I enjoyed our nar
ReemK10 (Paper Pills)
"Flower and plant have no conscious will. They are shameless, exposing their genitals. And so in a sense are Proust's men and women .... shameless. There is no sense of right and wrong." Samuel Beckett

Marcel Proust writes: "People in society are too apt to think of a book as a sort of cube one side of which has been removed so the author can " put in" the people he meets."(MKE 90) He goes on to say that it is " thanks to them when one reads a book or an article, one "gets to know the inside sto
May 03, 2015 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is volume four of Marcel Proust’s, “In Search of Lost Time.” I assume that, if you have made it this far, that you intend to read to the end – however, if you are thinking of starting this and have not read the earlier books, then do please begin at volume one. This is not a literary experience to be rushed and you need to read these volumes in order.

The first volume concentrates largely on childhood memories, while volume two and three looks at society and status. Here, though, the narrato
Two or three times it occurred to me, for a moment, that the world in which this room and these bookshelves were situated, and in which Albertine counted for so little, was perhaps an intellectual world, which was the sole reality, and my grief something like what we fell when we read a novel, a thing of which only a madman would make a lasting and permanent grief that prolonged itself through his life; that a tiny flicker of my will would suffice, perhaps, to attain to this real world, to re-e
Apr 18, 2016 Emanuel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Quanto a todos os senhorecos que se chamam marqueses de Cabremerda ou de Vaitetramar, não há qualquer diferença entre eles e o último dos magalas do regimento. Ir fazer chichi a casa da condessa de Caca ou fazer caca a casa da baronesa de Chichi é a mesma coisa, terá a sua reputação comprometida e terá confundido um esfregão sujo com papel higiénico. O que é uma porcaria."

"Sodoma e Gomorra" não será melhor que os volumes que o antecedem (pelo contrário, porque caminha a todo o vapor pelos meand
Ahmad Davari
Oct 16, 2016 Ahmad Davari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
در مورد عنوان این جلد از کتاب:
سَدوم و گُمورا (به عبری:סְדוֹם עֲמוֹרָה، به یونانی:Σόδομα Γόμοῤῥα) دو شهر هستند که در سفر پیدایش و در قرآن مورد اشاره قرار گرفتهاند.

برپایهٔ تورات این شهر به همراه ۴ شهر دیگر[نیازمند منبع]، در کنار رود اردن (طرف شرقی اردن[نیازمند منبع]) و در جنوب کنعان و در کرانه دریای مرده جای داشتهاست. به دلیل گناه لواط مردمان شهر مورد عذاب الهی قرارگرفته و نابود میشوند. نام این شهرها عبارتند از ۱- سَدوم، ۲- عَمورة یا عَمّوراه ۳- صَبُوْیِیْم یا صِبّوعیم ۴- اَدمه ۵- بالَع، که بعداً
Feb 07, 2017 Tara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Goddammit Proust! You know, I think at this point he could write a hundred pages about clipping his toenails and I’d eat it up and beg for more. I love this guy.

Nelson Zagalo
May 05, 2015 Nelson Zagalo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
O quarto volume, “Sodoma e Gomorra”, foi o que mais me custou ler, nomeadamente pela repetição de conversas de vários personagens, ainda que apresentados de novos ângulos mas sempre muito focados na comédia de costumes, que não é o meu forte, sendo que no miolo deste volume entrei mesmo em saturação, com o tédio a apoderar-se da leitura, contudo no final Proust abre um pequeno capítulo que fecha de forma tão sublime e deliciosa, impossibilitando-me desgostar deste volume.

Neste volume Proust dá l
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Paintings in Proust: A Visual Companion 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
  • Marcel Proust: A Life
  • Proust's Way: A Field Guide to In Search of Lost Time
  • Marcel Proust: A Life
  • Proust
  • A Harlot High and Low
  • Monsieur Proust's Library
  • Proust and Signs: The Complete Text
  • The Gods Will Have Blood
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls (Sparknotes Literature Guides)
  • Monsieur Proust
  • Selected Letters
  • Bouvard and Pecuchet
  • Strait is the Gate
  • Chariots of Fire
  • Pages from the Goncourt Journals
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)
  • 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)

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“Then from those profound slumbers we awake in a dawn, not knowing who we are, being nobody, newly born, ready for anything, the brain emptied of that past which was life until then. And perhaps it is more wonderful still when our landing at the waking-point is abrupt and the thoughts of our sleep, hidden by a cloak of oblivion, have no time to return to us gradually, before sleep ceases. Then, from the black storm through which we seem to have passed (but we do not even say we), we emerge prostrate, without a thought, a we that is void of content.” 36 likes
“It is not only by dint of lying to others, but also of lying to ourselves, that we cease to notice that we are lying.” 26 likes
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