Sodom and Gomorrah (In Search of Lost Time, #4)
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Sodom and Gomorrah (À la recherche du temps perdu #4)

4.37 of 5 stars 4.37  ·  rating details  ·  2,009 ratings  ·  146 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 January 1st 1921)
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karen
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...more
Aubrey
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
...more
·Karen·
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...more
Mala
Review of Sodom and Gomorrah by Marcel Proust
Shelf: Classic-ever-enduring-appeal,2013: The Year of Reading Proust.
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 th...more
Madeleine
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
Geoff
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
Bram
(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...more
Lee
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
Vale
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,...more
Hadrian
Sep 01, 2013 Hadrian marked it as on-hold  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, epic, french
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...more
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...more
Margaret
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
...more
Paul
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...more
Darwin8u
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-centric novel?

It is hard to grab this one volume and grade or inspect it separate from the previous three, and seems premature to attempt to capture the full body of...more
Robin
Mild spoilers, but hey, it's Proust. Give it up.

Volume IV was good for me. It started off with a bang (ha, ha), and his absorption with how gays and lesbians fit into society got a little old, but on the whole I liked his forays into society better than at the end of Vol. III. Maybe I’m developing a tolerance for the dinner parties. Or maybe I’m beginning to see the forest for the trees.

It was fun to see our hero in some new/old contexts -- like when he FINALLY meets the Verdurins and is so exci...more
Greg
I don't have much to say, this isn't so much a book as a continuation of the Guermantes Way. The return of the bumbling and pretentious Verdurin clique that made Swanns Way so much fun, along with and a slew of new characters and the emergence of M. de Charlus as a more significant and fleshed out character. I'm tempted to throw aside all the school work and library books I have out and just get right into The Captive. Yay Proust!!
Richard Magahiz
Aug 30, 2013 Richard Magahiz rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Those interested in Modernist literature
This book is more complex than the three that went before. It feels like Proust is finally getting down to the essential theme of the series with the tempestuous relationship between the Baron de Charlus and his violinist paramour Charlie Morel being set against the one between the Narrator and Albertine, whom he passes off as his cousin while in society, all with the specters of death (the Narrator's grandmother and Charles Swann notably) not far in the background. It strikes me as nearly plotl...more
David Lentz
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
Laura
(Sodome et Gomorrhe, sometimes translated as Cities of the Plain) (1921/1922) was originally published in two volumes. The first forty pages of Sodome et Gomorrhe initially appeared at the end of Le Côté de Guermantes II (Bouillaguet and Rogers, 942), the remainder appearing as Sodome et Gomorrhe I (1921) and Sodome et Gomorrhe II (1922). It was the last volume over which Proust supervised publication before his death in November 1922. The publication of the remaining volumes was carried out by...more
Timothy Hallinan
I had meant to write all these pieces much more quickly after reading REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST in its entirety, but life does get in the way. In the long run, it's interesting to be coming back to Proust's sequence now because, as fate often has it, I've read a lot of things since that touch on the world Proust recreates in the later volumes of the seven-novel work; CITIES OF THE PLAIN is the fourth.

This is the book in which Proust gets into ever-deepening water regarding homosexuality, his la...more
Bryn Hammond
He wrote this? And published it?

I heard that you can read the Albertine Cycle on its own – which consists of #5-6 and (optional) this #4. Since #4 was called Sodom and Gomorrah, and what brought me to Albertine’s story was its descent into the sexual underworld, I began here.

First I’ll say, this is a lively book, a trot of a read next to what I’ve read of #1 – aside from its racy subject matter. Here I found his endlessness mesmerising instead of stupefying, so that you sail along in a spell an...more
Justin Evans
In which our protagonist learns that almost everyone, other than him, is gay. Like the Guermantes' Way, this is a comedy of manners combined with some amazing essays and penetrating psychology. There's not much to say about this volume that one couldn't say about GW, except for the homosexuality, which is an interesting twist. As I was reading it, I thought about Hollinghurst's 'Line of Beauty,' and wondered whether Proust would have been different, better or worse if he'd been able to accept hi...more
lyell bark
in this book proust stops fretting about his furniture and revolving doors and instead starts to fret about the etymologies of place names in normandy and where his girlfriend is. in between the fretting, charlus hides behind a bush to spy on his boyfriend, and an old woman's mustache is described in great detail.
Matthew Gallaway
This book (along with the entire work) is required reading for anyone seeking to understand what I would describe as the "gay voice" or "non-heterosexual" voice as Proust presented it 100 years ago, and which (despite the narrator's supposed abhorrence of the non-heterosexual world he unveils) remains unsurpassed in terms of an honest social critique in the post-war period. Although the narrator trades in some very ridiculous labels/concepts surrounding 'inverts' and the idea that homosexual men...more
David
I think this volume may be the most laugh-out-loud funny installment of Proust's masterpiece yet.

If I had to summarize this volume, it would be that you find out that EVERYONE IS GAY. Well, pretty much everyone. The first half is about M. de Charlus, who is hilarious, and his affairs with Jupien and other men, but more interestingly how he postures himself to try to hide his "secret" which more-or-less everyone suspects. For the second half, M. returns to Balbec with Albertine, and he becomes ob...more
Frankie
This volume is nearly as good as the last, particularly for its censorship-defying recognition of the homosexual characters, but I found details of the plot slightly less believable. Perhaps the reappearance of the bourgeoisie clan of the Verdurins is to blame. They seem unnecessarily stupid and nasty, more so than their societal counterparts the Cambremers. The believability falters when the narrator accepts them as deserving of visits. Does he find them to be harmless? How can he allow good-na...more
Marius van Blerck
Sodom et Gomorrhe is the fourth book of the seven-volume In Search of Lost Time / Rememberances. The audiobook it is beautifully narrated by Neville Jason.

The book continues from The Guermantes Way, covering various homosexual liaisons more explicitly, something previously only hinted at, some liasons real and some surmised. Oodles more society gossip, snubs and snobbery, mingled with anti-semitism and the ongoing Dreyfus case, with support slowly swinging towards the falsely-accused officer. T...more
Mark
I have to say I didn't quite enjoy this volume as much as previous ones, mainly because I ended up reading it in a very broken up fashion, spread over a couple of months. That set me to thinking about the demands of Proust, that absolutely optimal reading condition required to take full advantage of his prose. Basically, this would seem to be a situation similar to that which proust himself adopted to write the novel: propped up in bed, being waited on by your maid, and with the sights and sound...more
Margot
Probablement le meilleur tome de la recherche pour le moment après "Du côté de chez Swann". Ils sont tous brillants et délicieux à lire mais j'ai particulièrement apprécié "Sodome et Gomorrhe". Les dernières pages du volume ont une telle puissance qu'elles fournissent à elles-seules un pur ravissement littéraire. Marcel Proust est considéré comme l'un des plus grands auteurs et plus j'avance dans la lecture de la Recherche plus j'en comprends la raison. Petit à petit, de manière tellement subtil...more
Rob
(8/10) Proust's In Search of Lost Time is undoubtedly a literary milestone, and not just because of its size -- basically the entire modernist movement is contained in this long novel. Of course, by the fourth volume it's started feeling like more of a slog than a masterpiece, especially all of the dinner party scenes. The long tangents on love, memory, and human emotion are great. The continued slimy antics of the desperate narrator are great. But the high society bits just feel like ho-hum art...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
  • Marcel Proust
  • Proust's Way: A Field Guide to In Search of Lost Time
  • Monsieur Proust
  • A Harlot High and Low
  • Mademoiselle de Maupin
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls (Sparknotes Literature Guides)
  • Bouvard and Pecuchet
  • Proust
  • Capital of Pain
  • The Masterpiece (Les Rougon-Macquart, #14)
  • Proust's Overcoat: The True Story of One Man's Passion for All Things Proust
  • Thérèse Desqueyroux
  • Selected Letters
  • The Counterfeiters
  • Against Nature (A Rebours)
  • Fantômas (Fantômas, #1)
  • One Thousand and One Nights, Volume 03
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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 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 Remembrance of Things Past: Volume I - Swann's Way & Within a Budding Grove

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“But sometimes the future is latent in us without our knowing it, and our supposedly lying words foreshadow an imminent reality.” 15 likes
“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.” 14 likes
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