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Swann's Way (À la recherche du temps perdu #1)

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4.14  ·  Rating details ·  31,684 Ratings  ·  2,371 Reviews
Swann's Way tells two related stories, the first of which revolves around Marcel, a younger version of the narrator, and his experiences in, and memories of, the French town Combray. Inspired by the "gusts of memory" that rise up within him as he dips a Madeleine into hot tea, the narrator discusses his fear of going to bed at night. He is a creature of habit and dislikes ...more
Paperback, 468 pages
Published November 30th 2004 by Penguin Classics (first published November 14th 1913)
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Gina If it makes you feel better, I know exactly how you feel! I'm slogging through this. Half the time, I am charmed by the Proust's craftsmanship of his…moreIf it makes you feel better, I know exactly how you feel! I'm slogging through this. Half the time, I am charmed by the Proust's craftsmanship of his words...just WOW! But usually that's after reading that particular passage three times because I get drowsy and fall asleep with the book on my face and I have to go back and reread :((less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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s.penkevich
Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: You
Recommended to s.penkevich by: Proustitute
Shelves: favorites, french, love
'reality will take shape in the memory alone...

For 100 years now, Swann’s Way, the first volume of Marcel Proust’s masterpiece, has engaged and enchanted readers. Within moments of turning back the cover and dropping your eyes into the trenches of text, the reader is sent to soaring heights of rapture while clinging to Proust prose, leaving no room for doubt that this is well-deserving of it’s honor among the timeless classics. In swirling passages of poetic ecstasy, the whole of his life and m
...more
Renato Magalhães Rocha
Reading a book for the first time is a great, exciting experience that packs a myriad of emotions and sensations: you’re happy because of the joy of starting another journey, anxious because of your expectations, curious because of the reviews you've read or things you’ve heard about the story… it’s something similar to going out on a first date, where everything is novelty and - if the book (the person) proves to be interesting indeed - you want to find out more and more. Once the initial excit ...more
Jason
Memory is a slippery little sucker. It constitutes an elusive, transient cache of data, the reliability of which decreases in reverse proportion to the length of time it has been stored. It can even be a blatant liar! How often have we found ourselves convinced of the details a particular memory only to have those details called into question by some testimony or other of which we have been made newly aware? It is almost frightening how quickly and naturally the bytes of our mind can be removed ...more
Jessica
Jan 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: rememberers of things past
AFTER:

Okay, well, I really screwed up my schedule this weekend, so now it's the latening am and nothing's happening for me in the sleep department. Honestly I can't think of a more appropriate time to review this book, which begins with insomnia.

This was great. It really was. Granted, it's not for everyone, but nor is it the rarified hothouse orchid cultured specifically and exclusively for an elite audience of fancy-pants dandies with endless supplies of Ritalin and time. This book is fascinati
...more
Florencia
Jul 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Proust so titillates my own desire for expression that I can hardly set out the sentence…
My great adventure is really Proust. Well—what remains to be written after that? I’m only in the first volume, and there are, I suppose, faults to be found, but I am in a state of amazement; as if a miracle were being done before my eyes. How, at last, has someone solidified what has always escaped—and made it too into this beautiful and perfectly enduring substance? One has to put the book down and gasp. T
...more
Jibran
Jun 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers of quality literature
Recommended to Jibran by: Proustian friends
Shelves: fiction, top-favs, french
Reality takes shape in the memory alone.

I do not claim a decent knowledge of world literature, being as I still am no more than half a decade old in my English-language readings, so my acquaintance with A-class writers remains, at best, sketchy; but I feel no hesitation in claiming that there are two writers - Marcel Proust and Vladimir Nabokov - who make all wannabes look like silly dilettantes, whose artistic range, sheer eloquence and fierce intelligence have such a deleterious effect on so m
...more
karen
so i figured i would finally read me some proust, get in touch with my roots or whatnot. and i have to say, for my introduction, it was kind of a mixed bag. the first part i had real problems with. i am not a fan of precocious or sensitive children, so the whole first part was kind of a wash for me. i know, that's terrible, right?? here is this Monument of Great Literature, and i am annoyed, as though i were watching some children's production of oklahoma, or any musical, really. (shudder) there ...more
Seemita
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." - Albert Einstein

I made acquaintance with Sir Einstein’s above observation more than two decades ago. It was precisely after the conclusion of my study-hour one evening, during which my father shared this quote with me, that I was struck by the uniqueness of such an expansive statement. For some fabulous reason, it stayed with me. As I grew up and began gaining the
...more
Jeffrey Keeten
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-french
”At the hour when I usually went downstairs to find out what there was for dinner...I would stop by the table, where the kitchen-maid had shelled them, to inspect the platoons of peas, drawn up in ranks and numbered, like little green marbles, ready for a game; but what most enraptured me were the asparagus, tinged with ultramarine and pink which shaded their heads, finely stippled in mauve and azure, through a series of imperceptible gradations to their white feet--still stained a little by the ...more
Riku Sayuj

“As we, or mother Dana, weave and unweave our bodies, Stephen said, from day to day, their molecules shuttled to and fro, so does the artist weave and unweave his image.”

~ James Joyce, Ulysses


“The Universe is the externalization of the soul.”

~ Emerson

To attempt to review this now would be like trying to review a book after finishing the first couple of chapters. There is no way to do justice to it, or to even be sure of what one is prattling on about. So seasoned readers, please do excuse any
...more
Ian "Marvin" Grayejoy
PART I

Spoilers

For reasons that will become apparent, my review focuses not on the plot of the novel, but on its style and themes.

If you want to develop your own relationship with these aspects of the novel, then it might be better to turn away now.

This is partly why I paid little attention to the excellent discussion group at Proust 2013, before writing my review.

“Swann’s Way” is one of the most personal books ever written, and I want to define my personal relationship with it, without viewing i
...more
Michael Finocchiaro
"Longtemps je me suis couché de bonne heure."
This phrase and the title of La Recherche has - in my opinion - been butchered many times as people have tried to translate Proust into English. I read it all in French - most French people do not even get past this first volume - and so I cannot really tell you whether the Moncrieff's translation is better than the Kilmartin's. I am not trying to be a snob, I am just saying that, like Ulysses, this work is so subtle and uses such a wide range of idio
...more
Fionnuala
Easter 2013.

When I reached the final pages of Du Côté de chez Swann, I knew that I hadn’t finished a book but that I’d simply begun one, that what I’d read were only the first chapters of a much longer work and that reading through the entire seven volumes of A la Recherche du Temps Perdu would be, to borrow one of Proust’s favourite images, like travelling on a very long and very beautiful train.
I realised that what I had done so far was simply to wander through the first few carriages of thi
...more
Emily May
I have removed my initial three star rating for this and settled with a blank rating. This is because I cannot in any way say what I want to say about this book with goodreads stars. I had given it three stars because of my indecision, it seemed like a good idea to just stick my rating somewhere in the middle when I couldn't make my mind up. The problem is that on goodreads three stars means "I liked it", which, unfortunately, I didn't. Two stars means "it was ok", but that's not an accurate des ...more
Manny
I think my original impetus for reading this was Thomas Disch's excellent short story "Getting into Death". Finding out that she probably only has a few weeks to live, the heroine immediately goes out, buys an edition of Proust, and starts reading. She's only able to relax once she's finished. Well, clearly, it had to be pretty good, and maybe I shouldn't wait until the last month of my life.

OK... it IS pretty good! Like all truly great novels, it's also very strange. Proust is just interested i
...more
Kalliope

Reposting this review since it had been erroneously deleted.

-------

It feels peculiar to write a review on Du côté de chez Swann given how many comments I have posted during the two months of our reading in the GoodReads Group “2013 The Year of Reading Proust”.

As I have read it in the original French my quotes come from the Gallimard edition.

Many of my posts have shown how fascinated I have been by the very visual writing of Marcel Proust. Colors, light and its effects, bounties of flowers, all
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
685. Remembrance of Things Past, Marcel Proust
A la Recherche du Temps perdu - Du côté de chez Swann (À la recherche du temps perdu #1), Marcel Proust
در جستجوی زمان از دست رفته - مارسل پروست (مرکز) ادبیات
عنوان: در جستجوی زمان از دست رفته، کتاب اول: طرف خانه سوان؛ نویسنده: مارسل پروست؛ مترجم: مهدی سحابی؛ تهران، نشر مرکز، 1369، شابک: 9643054810؛ چاپ دهم 1389؛ موضوع: داستان نویسندگان فرانسه - قرن 20 م
کتاب نخست: طرف خانه سوان؛ کتاب دوم: در سایه دوشیزگان شکوفا؛ کتاب سوم: طرف گرمانت 1؛ کتاب چهارم: طرف
...more
Paul Bryant
Note to all relevant parties : This book made me laugh and cry. I absolutely fell in love with the characters!


****************



PROBABLY HOW NOT TO READ MARCEL PROUST

In series three of The Sopranos, Tony tells his therapist about his latest fainting spell which happened when he was cooking meat. Then he remembers his very first fainting spell, which happened a short time after he witnessed his father chop a guy's finger off with a meat cleaver. She says his very first attack happened when he short
...more
Megan Baxter
Feb 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Swann's Way does not, say, have a lot of plot. At all. Let's get that out of the way upfront. If you're looking for a plot-driven story, look elsewhere. What it does is loop in and around certain topics, in the narrator's life and the life of Swann, and examine them in such minute detail, in such flowing prose from one moment to the next, looping around the events in question. And it is beautifully written.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in Goodreads po
...more
BlackOxford
Jul 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Childhood Expectations

The Delphic maxim Nosce te ipsum, Know thyself, is the motivating force not only of Western philosophy and Christian theology but of much of Western literature. All of the volumes of In Search of Lost Time are an experiment in self-understanding, an experiment which incorporates something that is left out of much of modern science, particularly psychological science, namely the concept of purposefulness.

Purposefulness is the capacity to consider purpose rather than the ado
...more
Nickolas the Kid
Ένα βιβλίο μπορεί να είναι αριστούργημα για κάποιον είτε γιατί μέσα σε αυτό βρήκε κομμάτια του εαυτού του, είτε διότι ο συγγραφέας μπόρεσε να γράψει ένα πολυεπίπεδο έργο με διαχρονική αξία , διακλαδωμένες έννοιες και συμβολισμούς. Λοιπόν, ο Προυστ στο συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο τα πέτυχε και τα 2… Έγραψε ένα ατόφιο αριστούργημα στο οποί εγώ (αλλά κι ο καθένας πιστεύω) βρήκα κομμάτια του εαυτού του μου.

Το βιβλίο (το πρώτο από τα 7 που έγραψε ο Προυστ) χωρίζεται σε 3 μέρη. Στο πρώτο μέρος, ο αφηγητής κα
...more
Garima

OVERTURE

For a long time I used to read really bad books. I have mentioned this before but it’s more like a reminder for me about how much 'bad' bad can get and how much 'good' reading good books feels like. DAMN GOOD! I owe my knowledge of all those good books entirely to goodreads. So as far as I was concerned, the last quarter of 2012 was all about reading Infinite Jest, about David Foster Wallace and about reading and loving him. But there was another name that was doing the rounds of this ha
...more
Sidharth Vardhan
As a habitual reader, you probably have had at least one friend who will tell you that he/she sees no point in reading all those books. You might have struggled trying to explain to this friend the delights of reading – may be you had lectured him/her on how a particular book is incredible, enlightened him/ her about all the things that make it marvelous – only to discover that you can’t get the person excited. At the time we may judge such person for lack of imagination, but with time we realiz ...more
Rowena
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, french-lit
“Will it reach the surface of my limpid consciousness- this memory, this old moment which the attraction of an identical moment has come so far to summon, to move, to raise up from my very depths? I don’t know. Now I no longer feel anything, it has stopped, gone back down perhaps; who knows if it will ever rise up from its darkness again?”

Swann’s Way is an elegantly-written book that consists of past memories and reminiscences. The two main stories in the book follow the narrator’s childhood mem
...more
Sparrow
May 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Twilight fans
Painting of Swann, by David Richardson, with the caption, 'I gave the bitch a cattleya; bitches love cattleyas.'
(Painting of Swann, by David Richardson)

In some ways, maybe, both love and destruction come to us, seek us out, and we are powerless to pursue or avoid them. I tend to think that is not the case, but I am often wrong, and I am too willing to make grand pronouncements about life to be unwilling to be called wrong. Or, as my friend says of herself, I am never wrong because if I hear an idea that is better than mine, I change my mind to that idea, and then I am right again. Anyway, in Swann’s Way,
...more
Deniz Balcı
'Swann'ların Tarafı'nı ilk lise yıllarımda elime almıştım ve ilk sayfalardan itibaren korkunç bir merakla, elimde tuttuğum kitabın o güne dek okuduğum her şeyden çok farklı ve kalibresi çok daha yukarıda bir şey olduğunu anlamış, devam etmeye çalışmıştım. Zamanla zihnim de benimle birlikte geliştikçe, 'Swann'ların Tarafı'; çok kez okuduğum ilk kitaplardan biri haline geldi. Bu sabah uyandığımda, yıllardır yanımdan ayırmadığım kitaplarımın olduğu köşeye gittim ve 'Swann'ların Tarafı'nı alıp okuma ...more
Kelly
What follows is a collection of thoughts and notes that I have finally transcribed from post-its, napkin doodlings, margin scribbles and ideas floating around in my brain for weeks. Please forgive its faults and incompleteness. I hope there is something in it of sense to be retrieved:

I. Seeing

“Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
-Chekov

A couple of years ago I started to lose my sight. Oh, it’s nothing drastic. Just one of those things that my mother was
...more
Aubrey
You stand at a mirror, or what you think is a mirror, for you can see yourself in it well enough. But the image is not steady, parts of your face are blurring and sections of your body are stretching, and all the colors flow like oil. You reach out a hand to steady it, and the reflection ripples, your fingers sink into surface and touch something cool and curved, an arched web running its backbone beneath. Try as you might, you cannot stop it from moving, and finally in frustration you grab at t ...more
Emma
My name is Emma and I am a tea addict and a Proust Virgin.

Well, not anymore I'm not! I've only drunk 5 cups of tea today AND I have just finished Swann's Way. My life is turning around.

I had some pre-conceptions about Monsieur Proust; he lived in my ‘too difficult’ pile, along with Joyce and VAT. I never would have picked him up if it wasn’t for the group read on this site, I thought if I get stuck, ya’ll could explain what was the hell was going on.

Reading Swann’s Way turned out to be a uniqu
...more
Darwin8u
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“One cannot change, that is to say become a different person, while continuing to acquiesce to the feelings of the person one has ceased to be.”
― Marcel Proust, Swann's Way

description

For years, I have put off reading Proust mainly because the size of In Search of Lost Time/Remembrance of Things Past seemed intimidating. Now, having finished Swann's Way: Vol 1. (440 pages of the 3365 total pages), I feel a compelling need to keep going.

This novel is preoccupied with all the details that surround time, des
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Monsieur Proust
  • The Immoralist
  • Life A User's Manual
  • Paintings in Proust: A Visual Companion to In Search of Lost Time
  • Mademoiselle de Maupin
  • Lost Illusions (La Comédie Humaine)
  • The Country Waif (Francois Le Champi)
  • Pages from the Goncourt Journals
  • Le Grand Meaulnes
  • The Masterpiece (Les Rougon-Macquart, #14)
  • Marcel Proust
  • Three Tales
  • L'Œuvre au noir
  • The Gods Will Have Blood
  • The Charterhouse of Parma
  • Against Nature
  • Witch Grass
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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...

Other Books in the Series

À la recherche du temps perdu (7 books)
  • In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower (In Search of Lost Time, #2)
  • The Guermantes Way  (In Search of Lost Time, #3)
  • Sodom and Gomorrah (In Search of Lost Time, #4)
  • 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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“Always try to keep a patch of sky above your life.” 1876 likes
“The thirst for something other than what we have…to bring something new, even if it is worse, some emotion, some sorrow; when our sensibility, which happiness has silenced like an idle harp, wants to resonate under some hand, even a rough one, and even if it might be broken by it.” 169 likes
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