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Within a Budding Grove

(À la recherche du temps perdu #2)

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  11,257 ratings  ·  948 reviews
First published in 1919, Within a Budding Grove was awarded the Prix Goncourt, bringing the author immediate fame. In this second volume of In Search of Lost Time, the narrator turns from the childhood reminiscences of Swann’s Way to memories of his adolescence. Having gradually become indifferent to Swann’s daughter Gilberte, the narrator visits the seaside resort of Balb ...more
Paperback, 749 pages
Published November 3rd 1998 by Modern Library (first published 1913)
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Seattle Al I have found that the translation has made all the difference. I read the Moncrieff translation of "Swann's Way" and began his translation of the seco…moreI have found that the translation has made all the difference. I read the Moncrieff translation of "Swann's Way" and began his translation of the second volume (which he titled "Within a Budding Grove"), and it was killing me. I switched to the Grieve translation, and it's practically a different book (and a much better one). I'm going to switch to another more modern translator for volume three.(less)

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I've long debated with myself - and friends - the actual benefits of re-reading versus a fresh read of a new book. Would re-reading really bring me a considerable number of new reflections, ideas and opinions to add to the first impressions I've gathered on my first read? And wouldn't this time spent on this repeated task be better employed by reading a completely different book that would instead and therefore give me completely different reflections on different subjects I perhaps haven't touc ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
(685 From 1001 Books) - À la recherche du temps perdu II: À l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs (À la recherche du temps perdu #2) = In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower (In Search of Lost Time, #2), Marcel Proust

Writing about this novel should be a separate book in itself. You do not know where to start, as if you want to describe the pyramids of "Egypt" stone by stone, and you really do not know how to deal with the storm of words, the glorious word is small for this novel. Far superior to t
The only book I've ever abandoned after the first sentence.

And what a sentence! But I'll come back to that. Let me first hasten to defend myself, to present my credentials, because I realise that Proust is held in such high esteem as to be almost beyond criticism – not in the real world of course, that would be ridiculous, but on Goodreads certainly. Of the 29 Goodreads friends who have rated this, 25 give it five stars, three give it four stars – one (the only French reader) gives it three. Tha


On my review of Du côté de chez Swann I had concentrated on the pre-eminence of the visual. The careful attention paid by Proust to light, to colour, to objects that add colour such as flowers, and to painting and the visual arts in general, led me to conceive of his art as painterly writing. All those elements continue in this second volume. I could easily select another rich sample of quotes that would illustrate this visual nature. Indeed, sight is explicitly des
Ian "Marvin" Graye
A Note about the Translation

I wanted to support the translation of this volume by James Grieve, a lecturer at my alma mater, Australian National University, when I was there in the 70’s.

I’m pretty sure he taught two of my close friends. While I can’t recall meeting him, I did socialise with one of his colleagues, Robert Dessaix, who subsequently became a talented writer.

It was a very capable French Department. However, in the 90’s, it was decimated by budget cuts and Grieve was made "redundant"
Aug 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: french-language
Adolescent Aesthetics

The temptation to compare Philip Roth and Marcel Proust is one I can’t resist. Both Goodbye Columbus and Portnoy’s Complaint seem to me inverted interpretations of Proust’s Within the Budding Grove. Using the same technique of relentless interior monologue, all are coming of age novels featuring sex, taste of one kind or another, and social class set against a background of contemporary manners and Jewish assimilation.

All three books assay the problems of male adolescence -
Nov 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There's a lot of stuff in Volume 2 of A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu, and people see different things in it. To me, though, the unifying theme is a continuation of Proust's analysis of how romantic relationships work, which he started in Un Amour de Swann. There, he examined one particular kind of relationship. Swann spends a fair amount of time with Odette, who is very nice to him and keeps saying how she wishes she could see him more often. Without realizing it, he comes to rely on her always t ...more
sorry, david. this book is better than swann's way. to the extent that i may have to go back and give swann's way three stars so that when i give this book four stars it doesn't make them equals, and, having four books to go, i want to leave room for a five-star anticipation. the first half of swann's way had me understanding what people did not like about proust. there was a lot of me hating on the narrator and gacking over his precious daintiness. this one, though, phoar. it is true it took me ...more
Michael Finocchiaro
What I loved about this book was the evocation of adolescence. The narrator travels a bit in this book - to Balbec (a mélange of several Norman/Breton towns) with its beautiful old Gothic church (of which literally thousands litter the landscape in France - particularly in Brittany) and its seaside resort (roughly modelled after Cabourg as well as Trouville/Deauville in Normandy). But first, we see the life of Swann and Odette through his eyes. The reader needs to forgive Proust for re-


Or: The Brain on Proust

There’s a group of 7 ladies I’ve known for quite some time. We meet regularly for afternoon tea, going round turn and turn about, although Barbara has now been excused from hosting in deference to her great seniority and some health issues that come along with the seniority. We have nothing in common except that we are all English native speakers, living here in Germany, and all of us married at one time or another to German husbands. So it’s only the language that con
Mar 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Our desires cut across one another, and in this confused existence it is rare for happiness to coincide with the desire that clamoured for it.”
― Marcel Proust, Within a Budding Grove

Marie Laurencin, 'Les jeunes filles'

My first recommendation when reading Proust is the reader MUST make sure they have a reliable bookmark, because when (not if, but when) you lose your place your faulty memory will not be able to remember exactly where you just were. One young nubile girl starts to blend into anot
Adam Dalva
Jun 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Somehow, an improvement on Volume 1, particularly in the book's second half, a languid summer in Balbec whose self-contained treatment of time and character reminds me of Magic Mountain. Structurally, there are similarities to Swann's Way - both feature an introspective and social beginning that segues into a linear narrative that, in many ways, could work as a self contained novel. Though not nearly as funny as Swann in Love, the beach section benefits from spending its time in the head of our ...more
Violet wells
Oct 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's brilliant; it's a bit boring; it's brilliant again; it's a bit boring again.

This book covers his initiation into sexual desire and romantic love, beginning with his obsession with Gilberte and ending with his summer sojourn on the Normandy coast where he falls for another unattainable girl. At times, because of the way he's mollycoddled by his family, it's hard to conceive of him as being much older than ten. It thus comes as a shock that he's capable of intellectual discourse and predator
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
An Open Letter to Marcel Proust:

Sir, thank you for having written what must be known only as one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century; a work of genius.

Unfortunately, this letter cannot be a letter of exaltation, but a rather a letter of apology. You deserve all the adulation which you have received these past 100 years since the first volume of your novel was published. And the Proust group on goodreads is testimony to the faith which you have properly placed in your readers’ abiliti
TBV (on semi-hiatus)
It may have taken me more than a month to finish reading this work, but it was certainly well worth the effort. This novel got better and better as I worked my way to the end. I loved in particular the second part ('Swann in Love') of the first novel (Swann's Way) of 'Remembrance of Things Past', and it was also the second part of Within A Budding Grove (also published as 'In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower') that captured my attention more than the first part. Overall I prefer this novel to ...more
Beauty is truth, truth beauty.
-John Keats

Let us first treat this as a premise, a maxim if you will, this quote from a long dead poet with a penchant for ancient pottery. Then, let us strip whatever meaning that has accrued upon it. Whether it resulted from pure instinct or rote memorization, fling it all away, and leave just the words. Little as they are, they are more than enough.

So, beauty is truth, truth beauty. Now, what is beauty? What is truth?

We sacrifice to beauty in all its forms, t
Aug 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
the review is missing.
below are the comments which followed.

David – You’re wrong that this is better than Swann’s Way and you’re wrong in calling Proust an ‘anti-romantic’. Try again, jewtard!

Brian – read more carefully, gothskimmer. i wrote that ‘one could say’ that proust was anti-romantic. all i mean is that his extreme nuerosis and need to analyze everything (to death!) kinda reduces every creature to a 'thinking machine'. after hundreds of pages of his wildly in-depth analysis i don’t feel
Roy Lotz
After I finished the first volume of Proust’s masterpiece, I did what I always do when I finish a book: I wrote a review. And, in truth, I ended up being a bit harsh and hyperbolic in that review; but I soon came to second-guess myself. For, although I can’t say I exactly loved Swann’s Way (I liked it), that book had, without my being aware of it, completely undermined everything I thought I knew about fiction. Unconsciously, imperceptibly, my whole concept of the novel had changed.

So it feels
Aug 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
I like to read books about people’s fucked up relationships more than I like to read about how lovely the flowers smell along the French seaside (unless of course the flowers are a blatant euphemism for something else), so I did not end up rating Within a Budding Grove quite as highly as I rated Swann’s Way.

The first half of the book was great and made true my prediction that the narrator would experience a “Swann–Odette” type of relationship with Gilberte, replete with its ups and downs and its
Aug 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who have begun the Proustian journey
Recommended to Junta by: Swann's Way
In Search of Lost Time, Volume 2:
Within a Budding Social Cataloging Website
Translated from the French by J. Chabouard

I had arrived at a state of almost complete indifference to Gilberte when, two years later, I joined the website Goodreads. Our new teacher for French, Mme Moir, was an avid lover of literature, and she had advised us to each create a virtual account on this so-called 'social cataloging website' this year so we would be able to keep track of our books and write our reading jou
Steven Godin
Aug 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The second instalment of Proust's majestic hyper-novel, and of the four I have read , this takes first prize. Read at stage in my life to fully appreciate its wonders. It took some attempts to get into 'In Search of Lost Time : Vol 1 Swann's Way, the rewards here slowly coming. With the second book I made the decision to read it on its own terms, almost as though learning to read again, reducing my reading speed so as to extract the significance of each and every sentence, sometimes reading it a ...more
Nick Craske
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This second volume within Proust's panorama of self and senses shifts from the inner salons to the outer sea side alcoves and sun drenched hotel lobbies. There is an energy and vitality to this second book which is projected through even more vivid character portraits and through Proust's evocative expression of his infatuations and obsessions.

There's a greater sense of space, of terrain and the broader environment. For me this seemed to allow the often claustrophobia inducing long-winding-inne
Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 and 1/2 stars

This volume started off great for me, but soon became quite repetitive. I felt the first section ("Madame Swann at Home") could've belonged with Swann's Way, though that would've marred the latter's perfection. I later realized the section fits if the arc of this book is the narrator's path from Gilberte to his next love. Throughout this section the narrator confesses his love for Gilberte, but what we get are detailed descriptions of Madame Swann. I found the relationships of Swa
Jan 31, 2017 rated it did not like it
Marcel Proust is a writer I completely miss the point of. I have no interest in society, especially this dead French one. I can't seem to interest myself in these children's parties or these petite bourgeois parents scheming to meet this or that VIP government minister. My God, the tedium! Yet Tolstoy and Bellow and Ozick and scores of others have all written about particular dead cultures which I've enjoyed reading about immensely. I can't put my finger on it with Proust. His inability to invol ...more
Oh, adolescence. Is there any period of time more frustrating, conflicting and downright disappointing than that too-long span of gawky limbs and endless opportunities for embarrassment? When one's body is alien territory, when one is faced with an onslaught of wholly unfamiliar impulses, when the head and the heart and all of the hormones are battling for control over a vessel that just wants things to make the kind of black-and-white sense they did in the blissfully naive days that are just ou ...more
If we are to make reality endurable, we must all nourish a fantasy or two.
In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower ~~ Marcel Proust


Volume II of Marcel Proust’s, In Search of Lost Time, In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower is a joy to read. In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower is a masterfully engaging, witty and involving read. Proust is brilliant.

As In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower begins, we meet the Marquis de Norpois, a diplomat and colleague of Marcel's father. He convinces the Marc
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Back in Paris in the May of the following year, how often I was to buy a sprig of apple from a flower-shop, then spend the night hours in the presence of its blossom, which was steeped in the same creamy essence as the frothy dust on the unopened leaf-buds…”- Marcel Proust, In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower

In Part 1 of Volume 2 of “In Search of Lost Time”, we meet the narrator, who is now in his early teens and is in love with Gilberte Swann, and is at the same time infatuated with her mo
Sep 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
What Proust was, and what In Search of Lost Time, when given the proper air and light, the proper attention, can instruct others to be, is an astute pupil of life. He was perhaps the most exacting and astute observer in modern literature, and his dedicated readers are, in essence, forced also to become as aware, as exacting, in their own perceptions, not only as they wade the ebb and flow of his tide of words, but beyond that, when the book is closed and put away. For as the sound of the ocean a ...more

A character, the Marquis de Norpois, quotes a fine Arab proverb- The dogs may bark; the caravan goes on. And so the ISoLT saga continues– Marcel has a meandering tale to tell and he will take his fine time telling that–fall in line or else, vamoose!

A lot happens in the second book– new characters, new themes are introduced. Old characters & old themes are expanded upon. Marcel gets to share the interior lives in the Swann household but can he ever know/understand the inner workings of Gilberte &
Mar 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Upon checking into a hotel in Venice in the summer of 2006, the man behind the reception desk raised his eyes in surprise when he saw the length of our stay. “Four nights,” he commented. “Lovely. We rarely see people stay for more than a couple of nights. Most only stay for one.”

Neither my wife nor I had ever been to Venice prior to this trip, and like any other person vaguely familiar with the city, we had a rich imagination of the charms we would behold: the canal streets, stripe-shirted gond
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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

Other books in the series

À la recherche du temps perdu (8 books)
  • Swann's Way
  • The Guermantes Way
  • Sodom and Gomorrah
  • La Prisonnière
  • La fugitiva
  • Time Regained
  • Resuméer och register till Marcel Prousts På spaning efter den tid som flytt

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