Swann's Way by Marcel Proust
(Dover Thrift Editions)

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In Swann's Way the slow movement...is predominant.
-The Atlantic


Both a psychological self-portrait and a profound meditation upon the artistic process, Proust's seven-part masterpiece In Search of Lost Time changed the course of 20th-century literature. Swann's Way, the first volume, introduces the novel's major themes and the narrator, a sensitive man drawn in his youth to fashionable society. Its focus then shifts to Charles Swann, a wealthy connoisseur who moves in high-society circles in nineteenth-century Paris and a victim of an agonizing romance. This masterly evocation of French society and its rendering of a search for a transcendental reality independent of time, ranks as a landmark of world literature. Unabridged reprint of the classic 1922 edition.

About Marcel Proust

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Marcel Proust was born in the Parisian suburb of Auteuil on July 10, 1871. He began work on In Search of Lost Time sometime around 1908, and the first volume, Swann’s Way, was published in 1913. In 1919 the second volume, Within a Budding Grove, won the Goncourt Prize, bringing Proust great and instantaneous fame. Two subsequent installments—The Guermantes Way (1920–21) and Sodom and Gomorrah (1921)—appeared in his lifetime. The remaining volumes were published following Proust’s death on November 18, 1922: The Captive in 1923, The Fugitive in 1925, and Time Regained in 1927.
Published October 16, 2002 by Dover Publications. 416 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Swann's Way
All: 8 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 3


Below average
Reviewed by Sam Jordison on Feb 07 2013

I'm guessing that a healthy proportion of people who pick up the book don't even get beyond page 51. Within a similar word count, Raymond Chandler could have got through two murders, six whiskies, half a dozen wisecracks.

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The Atlantic

Above average
Reviewed by Christopher Hitchens on Jan 01 2008

In Swann's Way the slow movement...is predominant.

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The Satirist


Proust’s fundamental triumph in Swann’s Way is in reconstructing his own past in such detail.

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Yahoo! Voices

Above average
Reviewed by Lois Weisberg on Dec 28 2009

Reading the classics written by foreign authors can be a challenge. The key is to find a good translator who maintains authenticity, yet gives the translated prose all the charm and beauty of the original.

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Reviewed by johannatrew on Jan 01 2012

Swann's Way is a brilliant introduction to the rest of the Search, introducing the themes of love, jealous, time and memory which will be elaborated in the other five volumes and full of eccentric characters.

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Roof Beam Reader

Below average
Reviewed by Roof Beam Dreamer on May 23 2010

The novel’s language is beautiful and its characters quite interesting, yet I was disappointed in it overall...the stroll seems to be toward no end, with no purpose.

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The Modernism Lab

Above average
Reviewed by Elyse Graham on Jan 01 2012

Proust’s reluctance to lay out the structure of his world immediately, his intuition that knowledge only comes with wandering, means that over the path to come, our understanding of how these themes operate will meet many reversals.

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Frum Forum

Reviewed by David Frum on Dec 26 2009

On each of the half dozen times I’ve read Swann’s Way, I’ve taken something different. Proust would of course say, that’s because I am different...It’s almost as if Marcel Proust had wandered into Ayn Rand’s living room.

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