Greg's Reviews > Time Regained

Time Regained by Marcel Proust
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's review
Jul 03, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction
Read from July 03 to 06, 2010

As of 20:50 on July Seventh, Two Thousand and Ten, I'm still slightly reeling from finishing this book, roughly twenty two hours ago. Like ninety nine point some high number percent of my reading experiences I read this in less than optimum conditions; by plowing through the last hundred pages or so at a un-Proustian pace. There are parts of the text I'm sure I missed, little subtleties I could have enjoyed and blah blah blah, but I think the overload was also Proustian, especially in light of what the last hundred, or so, pages are like.

Jasmine asked if I really thought this was five star book. I don't know. Probably not. Time Regained wasn't the strongest of the novels, but like red-headed step-child of Recherche, The Captive, what this novel lacks in straight-forward appeal it makes up for in being essential to the over-all structure of Recherche as the novel, and each book being just part of the whole. Some of the other volumes are probably examples of where the parts are greater than the whole, or whatever. I don't know if it is a five star book. Maybe it is to you, and maybe it is not. Probably depending on what you find appealing in Recherche will depend on what you think of this book (do I hear a big uh-huh! from anyone?). I'll warn you though, if you really only get giggles over the wit of the characters, this book probably isn't going to be the one that makes you feel all tingling inside.

On a similar note, before reading this, about a two weeks ago, a co-worker, Dana, asked me to tell her if she would enjoy this book. I must state a strong, NO!. No. No, Dana, you will not like this book. The fascisticly titled book 50 Gay and Lesbian Books Everybody Must Read (I think this is the book, if it's not it is another book that uses must read in the title, or maybe it was have to read, but it is a very bossy order) says that Time Regained is perfect for gays who want to enjoy the gayest of Proust, and they will then know if they like Proust and if they want to they can go read the rest of the books. One, this novel is maybe the most explicitly gay, but if you are looking for something explicit and gay you'll probably do better to google "gay french erotica whipping". You'll be more satisfied. Time Regained should not be read by anyone who hasn't read the books coming before it. Except for a scene where someone gets erotically whipped, pretty much everything that happens is tied with previous events. You will be bored to tears without having read the other books. Seriously. The editor of this book (if it is in fact this book, I will check tomorrow for sure) is an idiot (Hi, Harold Bloom!!) and should be tied to a bed with heavy chains and get whipped and sodomized for making such a stupid demand on people to read something they will be in no position to enjoy. Proust has a bad enough rep without this kind of nonsense.

Now for some notes.

1. I mentioned wit above. For the record I'm sick of cleverness. I'm as guilty as the next person for using cheap tricks but it gets so boring after a while. Yeah, it might actually take a lot of work to pull off something clever, but it's so fucking meaningless except for a chuckle or two. I'm sure I'll do something 'clever' soon and I'll be a hypocrite. But cheap gimmicks are bullshit and if I have learned nothing else from Proust it's that all the wit and cleverness in the world is a farce, a waste of time, a spectacle.

2. "....pretentiousness is next door to stupidity....." nicely put Proust.

3. How about a line of Proust to deal with Republicans? "The smug satisfaction that an imbecile takes in the justice of his cause and the certainty of victory are peculiarly irritating."

4. "....real books must be the products, not of broad daylight and small talk but of darkness and silence."
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Quotes Greg Liked

Marcel Proust
“For everyone who, having no artistic sense-that is to say, no submission to subjective reality-may have the knack of reasoning about art till doomsday, especially if he be, in addition, a diplomat or financier in contact with the 'realities' of the present day, is only too ready to believe literature is an intellectual game which is destined to gradually be abandoned as time goes on.”
Marcel Proust, Time Regained

Reading Progress

07/03/2010 page 2
0.0% "Finally starting on finishing A La Recherche"
07/04/2010 page 150
19.0% "I'm not really reading this edition. Do the more contemporary translations keep calling homosexuals inverts?"
07/05/2010 page 250
32.0% "Madeleines and paving stones."
07/06/2010 page 500
64.0% "MP 7 is almost done!! Marcel is gearing up for the sick finale."
04/17/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-38 of 38) (38 new)

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karen summer of proust!

Greg It's taken me two years to read them all, but I've only ever read Proust in the summer.

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

summer of proust is the climax of the musical.

message 4: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine is it 5 stars because you are so happy to be done?

Greg Possibly, or because it is that good. I'm saving the option to change my rating as I let the novel sink in a bit more. I overdid it a bit on Proust this evening.

message 6: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine heh. I understand I commonly change my mind halfway through a review.

message 7: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell 'summer of proust is the climax of the musical'


Sadly I have that first Penguin volume but haven't read it yet. Distracted by first Juvenal and now Gail Carriger.

message 8: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Moira wrote: "'summer of proust is the climax of the musical'


Sadly I have that first Penguin volume but haven't read it yet. Distracted by first Juvenal and now Gail Carriger."

these things happen I got distracted 20 pages into the first volume.

message 9: by Megha (new)

Megha Isn't it still 21:40 in NY?

message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

sodomy! so i DO have something to look forward to.

message 11: by Greg (new) - rated it 5 stars

Greg This is from the future, or actually that is a typo, or actually me really bungling 24 hour time. Fuck, I'm an idiot.

message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

i'm excited someone i know has finished these!

i'm less excited that he just called himself an idiot.

karen ha!

karen can i be old here?? what does FTFW mean?

message 15: by Eh?Eh! (new)

Eh?Eh! "For the effin' win"?

message 16: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell Eh! wrote: ""For the effin' win"?"


message 17: by Greg (new) - rated it 5 stars

Greg According to my google search it means:
Fuck the fucking world
Factory Talk for Windows
For the Fucking Win
Full-time Fuck Wit
Fuck the Free World
For the Falcon Win
Fat Talk Free Week
Fair Trade Fair Wage
First to Find Walking
Fuck Those Fucking Worthless

but I think if kids use it they probably mean this:

Fox Terriers from Western

karen ohhhhhhhhhhhhh thank you, ladies. and i suppose, greg, too.

i have wondered.

message 19: by Greg (new) - rated it 5 stars

Greg I think he would use Full-time Fuck Wit to describe Cottard.

message 20: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Greg wrote: "According to my google search it means:
Fuck the fucking world
Factory Talk for Windows
For the Fucking Win
Full-time Fuck Wit
Fuck the Free World
For the Falcon Win
Fat Talk Free Week
Fair Trade F..."


message 21: by Greg (new) - rated it 5 stars

Greg I'm just reporting what I found.


FTFW = For The Falcon Win.
Random 1: I like meshuggah.
Random 2: Niggah please, all of their songs are just the same thing over and over again. Nobuo Uematsu FTFW.
Random 1: Falcon? Wow, I better start listening.
Random 2: Do that, my child.
Random 2: Dad?

message 22: by Greg (new) - rated it 5 stars

Greg Also from


A rather impressive poke to the upper body. A cross between a poke and a joust but the word poust would sound gay so we put an 'R' in there for good measure.
eg : stand back or i will proust you into oblivion

eg 2 : your proust is no match for my barriar

eg 3 : i will clatch your barriar and proust you in the face of justice

because no one would ever think gay when they hear the word Proust.

karen hahaha i will proust you in the face!

karen proust!!

message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

that's a low proust, greg.

karen greg prousted me in the face and also in the shoulder today.

message 27: by Duffy (new)

Duffy Pratt Interesting to see you mention The Captive as the "red-headed stepchild." Many years ago I started in on Proust, and went quickly all the way through Sodom and Gomorrah. Then, on an airplane ride to Texas, I got stuck in The Captive. Several years later, I finally bulled my way through it, only to get similarly stuck in Albertine Disparu. Someday I would like to finish this whole thing, and every year or so, I try to start again, only to end up getting thoroughly stuck. I'd like to say that your review has given me the resolve to try to get to the end again, but it hasn't. And part of me thinks I would be better off going again through the first four books, than trying to push my way through. Who knows, maybe someday.

message 28: by trivialchemy (new)

trivialchemy "summer of proust is the climax of the musical."

"greg prousted me in the face"

I'm pretty sure the climax of the goodreads musical was when Greg prousted on Karen's face.

karen he did it at work, too.

damn you urbandictionary...

message 30: by trivialchemy (new)

trivialchemy I need to get a job where you guys work.

karen there is a lot of prousting.

and faux-sapphism.

message 32: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine there is lots of faux.

message 33: by Greg (new) - rated it 5 stars

Greg Little Marcel would be very perturbed by all the faux-sapphism going on here.

message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

Stop prousting around.

message 35: by D. (new)

D. Pow Only people with really Big Heads read Proust.

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Faux-sapphism? Like the unplanned swinging of pillowy things in an all-female battleground?

message 37: by Dana (new)

Dana thank you, greg. you have confirmed my earlier assumption that i will never read this book.

i suspect i would be bored to tears within the first few pages of the first book, never mind this one. (proust would never pass my 2-page test.)

and that book of the 50 gay stories everyone MUST read is terrible. not a must-read among them as far as i'm concerned.

karen MyFleshSingsOut wrote: "Faux-sapphism? Like the unplanned swinging of pillowy things in an all-female battleground?"

lots of boob-grabbing. there is really only one perpetrator, but she is pretty ferocious about it.

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