Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower by…

In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower (original 1918; edition 2004)

by Marcel Proust

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,257292,842 (4.4)1 / 25
Title:In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower
Authors:Marcel Proust
Info:Viking Adult (2004), Hardcover, 576 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:prose fiction, Modernism

Work details

In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower by Marcel Proust (1918)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (25)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (29)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Once again a long, slow read where the plot is minimal, and the philosophical digressions and minutiae of everyday life for the narrator are the key. It has moments of profundity, moments of comedy, but the main thrust of this volume is the narrator's growing interest in girls and particularly Albertine.

If I carry on at this rate I will complete all 7 books in about 2020. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Oct 10, 2015 |
While I enjoyed Marcel Proust's "In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower," which is the second book in his series "In Search of Lost Time," it definitely wasn't as astounding as the first book.

In this volume, our narrator focuses on his first loves -- cutting things off with Gilberte and moving on to his infatuation with Albertine. Most of the novel takes place in the seaside resort of Balbec.

As in the first novel, there are plenty of gorgeous passages to savor. But Proust's general wordiness bothered me more this time around. Something about the voice didn't quite fit with the recollections as well as it did in the first volume. Still, there are plenty of snatches of brilliance along the way.

This volume convinced me I need to stretch out my reading to one book every three months or so... (I had originally hoped to read all seven volumes this year.) It took nearly a month to read this one and it made me look forward to reading something a little less challenging! ( )
  amerynth | Apr 11, 2015 |
(There are no "spoilers," I promise.)

Madame Swann at Home

a new Swann; a new Cottard — "fashions change, being themselves begotten of the desire for change" — the Marquis de Norpois — Berma in Phèdre — "the cruel anxiety of the seeker after truth" — "But when one believes in the reality of things, making them visible by artificial means is not quite the same as feeling that they are close at hand" — the literary life; the value of shares — Françoise; Michelangelo — King Theodosius — Mme. Swann's salon — "archduchess or prostitute" — Bergotte's aesthetic influence — "In theory one is aware that the earth revolves, but in practice one does not perceive it, the ground upon which one treads seems not to move, and one can rest assured. So it is with Time in one's life." — Françoise's aspic — new year; new friendship with Gilberte — "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" — the beloved's face — water-closets; fevers — "And we realised that this imbecile was a great physician" — "I asked myself whether there was not an existence altogether different from the one I knew, in direct contradiction to it, but itself the real one" — chez Swann — gâteaux; livres — appropriated mannerisms and expressions — Mme. Swann's "day" — Albertine: "She's certain to be dreadfully 'fast' when she's older, but meanwhile she's an odd fish" — "like a kaleidoscope which is every now and then given a turn, society arranges successively in different orders elements which one would have supposed immutable, and composes a new pattern" — confusing royalties — the Cottards and the Bontemps — love; fear — "in the company of orchids, roses and violets" — "that anxiety ... which destroys in us, in the presence of the person we love, the sensation of loving" — Vinteuil's "little phrase" — "And we shall love it longer than the rest because we have taken longer to get to love it" — art and posterity — Mme. Blatin and the Singhalese — objects; meanings; souls — the Zoological Gardens — Princess Mathilde — "as though [English] had been a secret language known to our two selves alone" — Odette's Anglomania — Bergotte's name (and nose); the Narrator's name — carnations in buttonholes — Bergottism — genius; mirrors; power — on Berma's Phèdre — "A powerful idea communicates some of its power to the man who contradicts it" — "a prophetic warning" of "the danger of that kind of love" — Gilberte as a composite Mélusine — "a single intelligence of which everyone is a co-tenant" —"Nine tenths of the ills from which intelligent people suffer spring from their intellect" — brothels and Jews and "Rachel when from the Lord" — "our memory does not as a rule present things to us in their chronological sequence" — "There can be no peace of mind in love, since what one has obtained is never anything but a new starting-point for further desires" — unknown languages; sealed fortresses — contradictory severance letters — the third Gilberte — Mme Swann's flowers — five-o'clock tea — "Dear Mme Verdurin is not always very kind about other people's flowers" — electricity; telephones — "When we are in love, our love is too big a thing for us to be able altogether to contain it within ourselves" — renunciation — "regret, like desire, seeks not to analyse but to gratify itself" — when what is "smart" becomes what is "trashy" — the charm of a Botticelli — the colors of Mme Swann's at-home dresses — 10,000 francs — two strollers in the Avenue des Champs-Élysées — "the healing effect of isolation" — interpreting dreams — "The person whom we love is to be recognised only by the intensity of the pain that we suffer" — letters; lies; the past tense — Mme Swann's parasol

Place-Names: The Place

"It is our noticing them that puts things in a room, our growing used to them that takes them away again and clears a space for us" — three knocks on the adjoining wall — habit; new bedrooms; lofty ceilings — "it is the light that displaces and situates the undulations of the sea" — the guests at the Grand Hotel — Mme de Villeparisis, "the most powerful of fairies" — Françoise's friends —"those peculiar places, railway stations... those marvellous places, railway stations" — "those who love and those who enjoy are not always the same" — "the enraptured traveller Ruskin speaks of" — reading Mme de Sévigné on the train — a milk-girl, beauty, and happiness — Balbec Church and the Virgin of the Porch — the Grand Hotel — "the horror of my own nonentity" — the Princesse de Luxembourg and a loaf of rye bread — "a carriage which reeked of harlot a mile away" — carriage rides; young girls in flower —"our desire for people ... is the only kind that leads to anxiety" — three trees — Chateaubriand on moonlight's melancholy — "a creature of habit" — Saint-Loup — "adolescence is the only period in which we learn anything" — a Jewish colony — Bloch contre Ruskin; the "lighft-boy" — human kindness; defects — "we ought at least, from prudence, never to speak of ourselves, because that is a subject on which we may be sure that other people's views are never in accordance with our own" — Baron de Charlus's gaze; a memory of Tansonville — the Guermantes: "in that family they change their names as often as their shirts" — Charlus's "obsession with virility"; an awkward tea — "A photograph acquires something of the dignity which it ordinarily lacks when it ceases to be a reproduction of reality and shows us things that no longer exist" — the Baron; a book of Bergotte's; the narrator's bedroom — "in the state of mind in which we 'observe' we are a long way below the level to which we rise when we create" — dinner at the Blochs — Saint-Loup's mistress — "the wall which remained silent" — "I was going through one of those phases of youth ... in which at all times and in all places ... we desire, we seek, we see Beauty" — "the little band" of jeunes filles — "a girl with brilliant, laughing eyes and plump, matte cheeks" — "To strip our pleasures of imagination is to reduce them to their own dimensions, that is to say to nothing" — "a mirage of desire" — "aristocracy is a relative thing" — the name Simonet — seascapes; sunsets; Whistler's Harmony in Grey and Pink — Dreyfus; a change of season; Rivebelle — "Perhaps some of the greatest masterpieces were written while yawning" — too much port; music; seductiveness — "two separate bouquets that had exchanged a few of their flowers" — love; inebriation — "we say that we often see animals in our dreams, but we forget that almost always we are ourselves animals therein" — sleep; waking; "the shipwreck of my nervous storms" — Elstir, the famous painter — "The most exclusive love for a person is always a love for something else" — Elstir's studio; art fostering immortality — the blurred boundaries between sky and sea, land and sea — "If a little day-dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less but to dream more, to dream all the time" — the name Albertine — ambiguous gender; Elstir's portrait of Miss Sacripant — "The particulars of life do not matter to the artist; they merely provide him with the opportunity to lay bare his genius" — states of consciousness; the evolutions of those whom we love — multiple Albertines — "We do not receive wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves" — railway stations; invitations; letters; "the profundities of 'still life'" — "Pleasure ... is like photography" — meeting Albertine — a beauty mark: fluid then fixed — Octave; the Mlles d'Ambresac; Andrée; Gisèle; Rosemonde — "it was their flowering-time" — successive loves and their similarities — women's fashion — the Creuniers cliffs; picnicking — "Loving helps us to discern, to discriminate" — girls' voices — "The individual is steeped in something more general than himself" — je t'aime — Gisèle's letter from Sophocles to Racine — "every fresh glimpse is a sort of rectification, which brings us back to what we in fact saw" — a game of ferret; hands; hawthorn — "the selfish angle which is that of love" — "the photo-telephone of the future: the visual image ... clearly outlined in the sound" — bedrooms; an urge to kiss; the ringing of bells — Albertine in society: "killing several birds with one stone" — "Oh, you men!" — interchangeability — "when studying faces, we do indeed measure them, but as painters, not surveyors" — multiple selves; darkened rooms; departure ( )
  proustitute | Jul 17, 2014 |
Proust continues with a trip to the seaside resort of Balbek which is the backdrop for the majority of the second volume of In Search of Lost Time. It’s a volume which explores the young man as he begins to venture out into the world making relationships with his peers on his own terms, both male and female.

The style continues to be stunningly beautiful. So evocative at points that, despite the length of the entire novel and even individual sentences, you find yourself wanting to re-read sections just because you know there is more there than you can take in on first reading. Check out some of the quotes below which I collected along the way.

What did I learn? Again, as with the first volume, I was encouraged how many hopes, fears and relational longings Proust and I shared as we grew into adulthood. I learned that even a genius like Proust, who was the last person in history who would be stuck for a way to capture anything in a description that captures its essence, even he can’t

fathom women. Ha! So, now I don’t feel so stupid after all.

Two key relationships begin in this novel, one with a young man and one with a young woman. The man is Robert de Saint-Loup, a dashing army officer who is the outward-going counterpart to our narrator’s shy and observant caution. The woman is Albertine Simonet who plays a far less central role in this volume than does Gilberte in volume 1 and yet who has a far deeper influence on our hero. This is an influence that will be felt, I believe, in volumes to come.

So, I enjoyed this for its description of the transition from adolescence to adulthood, for the characters that play through the pages and, most of all, for the sublime use of language from Proust. ( )
  arukiyomi | Jun 14, 2014 |
Before I'd even gotten more than half way into this volume, it inspired me to write, in gratitude for the pleasure it had already given me, this blog post: On the unsuspected joys of Proust

And this is from the context, I should say, of someone who, while loving the other modernists she'd read, was not really looking forward to Proust, thinking he'd be stuffy, overly romantic, and reactionary. Well, was I wrong. I'm hooked. There are hills and valleys in this long, long journey, but there are so many great vistas, I'm looking forward to traveling on. ( )
  CSRodgers | May 3, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (113 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Proust, Marcelprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Beretta Anguissola, AlbertoContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
De Maria, LucianoEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Enright, D.J.Translation revisionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Galateria, DariaContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kilmartin, TerenceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raboni, GiovanniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salinas, PedroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scott Moncrieff, C. K.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Meine Mutter hatte, als davon die Rede war, zum erstenmal Monsieur de Norpois zu uns zum Abendessen zu bitten, ihr Bedauern ausgedrückt, daß Professor Cottard auf Reisen sei und daß sie den Verkehr mit Swann ihrerseits abgebrochen habe, denn beide hätten zweifellos den ehemaligen Botschafter interessiert
Last words
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Publisher series
Original language
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143039075, Paperback)

In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower is Proust’s spectacular dissection of male and female adolescence, charged with the narrator’s memories of Paris and the Normandy seaside. At the heart of the story lie his relationships with his grandmother and with the Swann family. As a meditation on different forms of love, In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower has no equal. Here, Proust introduces some of his greatest comic inventions, from the magnificently dull M. de Norpois to the enchanting Robert de Saint-Loup. It is memorable as well for the first appearance of the two figures who for better or worse are to dominate the narrator’s life—the Baron de Charlus and the mysterious Albertine.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:40 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A definitive new translation of the second volume of In Search of Lost Time captures the intricacies and challenges of male and female adolescence and awakening love, based on the narrator's reminiscences about Paris and the Normandy coast.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
126 wanted29 pay1 free
7 pay

Popular covers


Average: (4.4)
1 2
2 7
2.5 1
3 28
3.5 8
4 95
4.5 24
5 179


2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 100,868,765 books! | Top bar: Always visible