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The Captive & The Fugitive (À la recherche du temps perdu #5-6)

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  1,950 Ratings  ·  175 Reviews
The Modern Library’s fifth volume of In Search of Lost Time contains both The Captive (1923) and The Fugitive (1925). In The Captive, Proust’s narrator describes living in his mother’s Paris apartment with his lover, Albertine, and subsequently falling out of love with her. In The Fugitive, the narrator loses Albertine forever. Rich with irony, The Captive and The Fugitive ...more
Paperback, 957 pages
Published February 16th 1999 by Modern Library (first published 1925)
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gore. juss. seriously - a perfect book. i am reviewing the captive and the fugitive. separately because even though modern library publishes them together in one volume, i don't want to lose this high i am on after reading the captive. what if the fugitive isn't as good!!?? i will not have the luster worn off my glee!

seriously, by the fifth installment, is anyone even paying attention anymore?? who remembers the fifth of anything?

but this one - i reacted to it the way most people reacted to swan
But in exchange for what our imagination leads us to expect and we give ourselves so much futile trouble trying to find, life gives us something which we were very far from imagining.
If you have come thus far in this search for time lost, here you may remember that, as unfeasible as it may seem, this is in fact but a part of a single work, one that built and built and has finally started to wind its way slowly down trains of thought already distilled, running on rails made efficient by readerl
--The Captive (In Search of Lost Time Volume V)
--The Fugitive (In Search of Lost Time Volume VI)

May 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: european-novels
Again, the writing is so delicious that I tended to forget what an idiot the narrator is. Maybe I'm being harsh, but if I'd been in Albertine's shoes I would have left him long before she did.
I have taken to reading this after I get home from work. I deal with some of the more difficult spects of peoples' lives, mostly towards the end. I immerse myself in Proust for a while and forget the tensions of the day. I'm not sure how Proust kept the standard of writing so high, but he has.
Proust revisit

Revisiting, via BBC R4x, all the books in remembrance, our world has altered too.

Jul 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, proustophilia
I’ve attempted (this is already generous) to review each volume of In Search of Lost Time, but every time I finish reading one, I feel like I should just skip it this time around. To put it in banal and melodramatic terms, this book has really meant a lot to me. I think I’ll leave it at that rather than give in to my desire to gush in Proustian sentences about all the emotions, thoughts, and nostalgia I’ve experienced solely from imbibing and osmosing Marcel’s thoughts and feelings. It has been ...more

The frocks that I bought for her, the yacht of which I had spoken to her, the wrappers from Fortuny’s, all these things having in this obedience on Albertine’s part not their recompense but their complement, appeared to me now as so many privileges that I was enjoying; for the duties and expenditure of a master are part of his dominion, and define it, prove it, fully as much as his rights. And these rights which she recognised in me were precisely what gave my expenditure its true character: I h
Apr 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The longest book I've ever read, longer than those with many more pages. I don't mean the complete Search -- I'm referring to this volume, a mere 936 pages that took me forever. If I'm honest with this impression, I should admit that I find Proust sort of stupefying most of the time. I can only read 15 pages at a time without dosing off or reaching for my phone. But every once in a while there's an image or insight that makes it all worthwhile. I mean, the book is regularly studded with the best ...more
Sep 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having made my way to the end of Volume 6 of, “In Search of Lost Time,” I find myself with only the last book to read. At one time, I felt I was laboriously climbing my way through them and now I feel almost broken hearted that the end is in sight… Such is the way that Proust winds his way, slowly creeping into your life, until I cannot imagine the end of the day without his words lulling me to sleep.

Although it does seem as though most of this work takes part in the head of our narrator, some o
Aug 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
alternately beautiful and frustrating, as all of Proust seems to be. Gorgeous descriptions, occasionally humorous anecdotes, angst-filled cries from Marcel, followed by heartless thoughts. quite a book.
Full review to come...
Roy Lotz
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
More than a year has intervened between my reading of the last volume and this one; and yet I find that my reaction to Proust has remained constant. Constant, yes, and complicated.

I have this relentless back and forth, tug-of-war reaction to Proust, a mixture of the most intense admiration and absolute disgust. My thinking and writing bear the scar of his influence; it is a scar I wear proudly, but which still stings if I poke at it. Whenever I read Proust, I feel so irritated and sometimes so d
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"For my taste, Proust explains much: 300 pages just to make us understand that X screws Y is way too much."
— Louis-Ferdinand Céline. Letter for Milton Hindus.

Well, you better get ready for 700 pages on sexuality, dinner parties, jealousy, memory, art and beauty. Though for my taste, those ‘over-explained’ pages are one of the several things I like so much about Proust’s work. I actually got to know about that quote from a film: Laurence Anyways by Xavier Dolan; and, even though I don’t agree w
Apr 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
15 April 2014

"Days in the past cover up little by little those that preceded them and are themselves buried beneath those that follow them. But each past day has remained deposited in us, as in a vast library where, even of the oldest books, there is a copy which doubtless nobody will ever ask to see."

How much I have thought of this passage lately, with old memories slowly creeping up from my subconscious as I continue my journey with Marcel Proust. I have of late been through many walks down l
David Lentz
Jun 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Modern Library's Volume V deals with the relationship between Marcel and Albertine. It is a complex, psychological relationship to say the least. In the Captive, Albertine lives with Marcel in his apartment in Paris and in The Fugitive one wonders who is, in fact, more captive -- Albertine or Marcel. It would seem to be Albertine for whom Marcel possesses an obsessive love and concurrent fear of her sapphic penchant. But it is also Marcel who will sacrifice experience if he makes a commitment to ...more
Adam Dalva
Oct 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Though these segments of Proust's novel (and the work is fully revealing its novelistic structure at this late point in the game) are bundled together, I'm going to treat them as separate entities:

Though there are of course great moments - the first reveal, 3,300 pages in, of the protagonist's name, which is like the sun bursting through a foggy afternoon; the cliffhanger ending; the reappearance of certain traits of Marcel's great-aunt in Combray - THE CAPTIVE is my personal low point of I.S.o.
Jim Coughenour
I've been reading Proust on and off for 30 years. I've read Swann's Way at least three times in its entirety; and its immediate successors a couple times each. Every time I've been stopped by The Prisoner (or The Captive in the Moncrieff/Kilmartin edition) and The Fugitive, but I finally made it through.

For me the problem has always been that Marcel's obsessive love for Albertine stretched credulity: the voice and sensibility of the narrator is so plainly that of a man who loves men, not women.
Aug 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers
Shelves: fictions
Who knew that bisexual French shut-ins knew everything? Ok, so maybe just everything about love and jealousy and memory and thought and being a person in the world. The new Proust translation is the alpha and the omega. The Fugitive has some strangle plot parts but the phrasing, imagery, pitch-prefect tone, and oceanic depth of understanding of the thing is impossible but extant. It is humbling and uplifting to read. One wonders, as Virginia Woolfe did, what else is there to write? Quit your job ...more
Feb 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The heart is infinitely impressionable regarding everything that concerns the life of a certain person, so that a lie from that person causes that heart intolerable spasms. Our mind may go on reasoning interminably during these spasms, but it does no more to mitigate them by taking thought we can soothe an aching tooth.
- Proust, The Captive, p 295

Jealousy is a major theme throughout In Search of Lost Time with the generosity of Proust's variations on this theme comparable to that encountered in
May 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Richard Magahiz
I finished this book a week ago but it's taken me this long to start to organize my thoughts and feelings about this part of the seven volume saga. Our Narrator has learned certain lessons from his years among the smart society and when he acts on them he experiences first-hand how much real unhappiness they can bring. All the characters at the salon (in this book, the one hosted by the Verdurins, but also those which occupied central place in the previous volumes) are touched by insincerity in ...more
Lee Foust
Feb 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The Prisoner is, so far, by far my favorite section of this addictive and sublime masterpiece. The reflections here upon love and how little we are able to know and understand others and ourselves because of the power of love to cloud and perversely skew our every thought and action through the mystery of intense feeling are unlike anything else written either about love or human interaction. In order to avoid spoilers and because I'm itching to get back to reading other books today, I'm going t ...more
Oct 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
My reactions to Proust are so all over the place. I find him very easy to read; it just takes me forever because every paragraph or so he is taking me off on a tangent with some personal connection he has forced me to make. And then he forces me to analyze that personal connection and evaluate whether or not I think Proust’s philosophy holds for me. And half an hour later I’m ready for the next paragraph.

But another overwhelming reaction to the guy is deep sympathy tempered by anger. Love for hi
It's a classic story: boy meets girl, boy gets bored of girl, boy meets another girl, another girl is mysterious and maybe bisexual, boy gets obsessed with that girl, girl gets creeped out and leaves (view spoiler).

In The Captive and the Fugitive after much pining for Gilberte and now for Albertine, our Narrator has got himself a girlfriend! Albertine has moved in with him in Paris, and things are supposed to be going swimmingly.

Sep 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It consumed some three years of my life and most of my thought about literature, whether I was conscious of it or not. Proust's novel-cycle is omnivorous and omnigenic; it takes in everything; it gives birth to everything. You can't pretend it isn't periodically boring, but so may all great art be. Like Joyce and Woolf, Proust wanted to demand something of his readers, wanted them to know some measure of the labor and anxiety and fatigue he'd undergone in creating his work. I could write a whole ...more
Justin Evans
Sep 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I'm shocked, shocked, that Goodreads readers seem to prefer this to the earlier volumes. I can see only three reasons for this: first, the people who would usually give Proust three or fewer stars aren't likely to get to the fifth and sixth books in the series, so only the truly masochistic fan-boys-and-girls are left. Second, people other than me really, really, really love offensively repetitious dribblings about jealousy, which makes up a large chunk of these two novels (although, I will say, ...more
Jul 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Six hundred pages of which the overarching concern is the narrator's fanatic fear that his mistress, now living with him, is sneaking off in search of the Sapphic pleasures that he believes her to enjoy at least as much as his attentions. The captivity referred to in the title is expanded over the course of his musings to encompass both parties to all committed relationships, but the narrator's obsessiveness does become a bit wearying.

As such, the high points are mainly when some other topic com
Apr 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literature, audible
Greatest novel ever. Really. Just read biography of Proust by Edmund White and want to read more supplementary material (and still haven't read final volume). Would reward rereading; ideally should also be read in one long gulp, not as I have (a volume a year).

A couple of high-level comments:
1. The narrator's obsessiveness re his love interests is frustrating, and one comes to feel that it's overdone. However, as far as I can tell, Proust was actually like that (though the novel is NOT a memoir
Mar 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Like the previous four volumes, both the Captive and the Fugitive are a delight. The Fugitive much more so than the Captive, in my opinion.

The Captive opens with Albertine moving into Marcel's Parisian home. His parents are conveniently absent. There's a lot to love about this volume, and I especially loved the scene when M. and Albertine are passing through the streets with all the sounds of vendors in the air - the way Proust brings to life that atmosphere really impressed me, and I felt very
Apr 18, 2011 is currently reading it
My relationship with Proust is like that of a battered housewife: although I am sure sometimes I hate him, I keep coming back. I have been reading this book on and off for almost two years now. I hate Proust, yet I find his observations inspiring. . . but I HATE how he goes on about nothing.

No, my relationship with Proust is like a love affair with a girl who can only talk about shoes and occasionally says something insightful. Or a pompous, art school intellectual who has some how endeared her
Regarding the Prisoner, I defy anyone to find a more thorough and realistic treatise on lying that wasn't written by a scientist. And regarding both titles in this volume, 2 themes, among others, continue as before, with the narrator continually discovering the difficulties they create: different perceptions of reality, and internal vs. external reality of a person.
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  • Marcel Proust
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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)
  • 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)
  • 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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