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Swann's Way by Marcel Proust
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Swann's Way (1913)

by Marcel Proust

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: In Search of Lost Time (1)

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7,980113625 (4.24)1 / 480
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English (91)  French (6)  Dutch (5)  Italian (3)  Spanish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Portuguese (1)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  All languages (111)
Showing 1-5 of 91 (next | show all)
Second time around, I have no idea why I was so focused on Proust's weird bougieness the first time. He's lovely, and this book is lovely, and I found it the most comforting thing I could imagine. ( )
  MeditationesMartini | May 22, 2018 |
I've been listening to this book on and off for quite a while. I've listened to some parts over again. It's beautifully written, with lyrical, lush depictions of people and places and the feelings of the narrator and other characters.

I still have no idea how to describe this book. I totally, though, want to read or listen to the next two volumes. ( )
  hopeevey | May 20, 2018 |
OMG. Sure, 'omg' is a very modern slang word, but it applies to this novel. Swann is a melodramatic dude who falls in love with a rather modern woman named Odette. Swann pursues her for years, being odiously possessive, dishonest, and manipulative with her all along, swearing he loves her and that his love is why he acts the way he does about her. He does end up married to her, but by the end of the account of his years 'courting' her, I was a bit surprised that she would accept him. For all the narrator's insistence that Odette was not intelligent, she seemed smart enough to see through Swann and find someone more trustworthy to marry. The narrator seems bipolar, throughout the book, though I was a bit confused as to who the narrator is from one section to the next. In the last chapter Swann is old, married to Odette, and has a daughter named Gilberte, who the narrator falls in love with, and the narrator in this section is a boy still living with his parents, so he can't be the same narrator as the one telling about Swann's romantic obsession. I was not really impressed with Proust's storytelling so far, with his narrators being so unsatisfactorily introduced, and so many pages devoted to drivel. ( )
  JBarringer | Dec 30, 2017 |
I read Proust's masterpiece back in 1985. What did I know of life then? Nothing!

Having recently read a Smithsonian editorial that made fun of the novels, and remembering all too well one particular hilariously snippy Monty Python sketch (the Summarize Proust Competition), I too wanted to be able to rub elbows with the elite intellectuals who mocked Proust, so I picked up the first of three volumes (the weighty Moncrieff editions because I have no french whatsoever) and got started. The first few pages were tough going, but soon I became mesmerized, then I fell in love, and by the end of the summer I was tucking flowers into the plackets of my blouses and wearing bows in my hair.

Oh you kids. “Swann's Way” is the swiftest, plottiest volume in the monster, with “Un Amour de Swann” a little novel in itself, with a beginning, middle, end, and all that sort of thing. Originally drafted in a mere three volumes, the Recherche grew as Proust re-Proustified the later volumes while waiting for publication; many readers have wished that that long mini-book could be recovered. The pace picks up again in the last volume, which the author's death prevented him from reworking it, so that a dinner party—one of the greatest scenes in all literature, by the way—takes only a few hundred pages to describe, what with the jolts of consciousness with which Proust bracketed it, while the first half of the volume is impossibly brilliant about the first World War without ever leaving Paris. It's best to have time for such idleness, best to be so besotted with the possibilities of literature that you love rather than loathe the lengthiness; which is to say that you need to encounter Proust at the right time of your life and possibly even the right place, so that Proust's times and places become yours. I hope that luck will be yours; without it, the task may prove impossible. If you find yourself fatally at a loss to know what and why you're reading, check out Samuel Beckett's slim monograph; for all its showy intellectuality—it's a youthful work—it's still the best compass for getting across that ocean.

Read it twice in English - took me a year the first time and six years the second. I re-read it once again in English this time around, which is a whole new level of pleasure and I hope will take me many more years to come. After all I'm more mature and also wiser...I really recommend the Proust Screenplay by Harold Pinter, which accomplishes the amazing feat of boiling the whole thing down into a 90-minute screenplay without losing any of the flavour. When I felt lost at the beginning of my first reading, Pinter's work revealed the whole structure to me and enabled me to carry on.

So far, I've found reading Proust a strangely claustrophobic experience. I got the overwhelming impression of a man who observes, dissects and minutely describes life, but perhaps forgets to live it?

As a reader, I feel the novel takes me over. There is no room for separate interpretation or thought. The author leaves no margin for error. It's a bit like the difference between watching butterflies fluttering in a meadow and having them pinned and labelled, dead, on a board for inspection. Some books just have that effect on me. The great one, that is. ( )
  antao | Dec 16, 2017 |
I'm not sure what to make of this. At one level, nothing much happens - the first 20 odd pages are about him struggling to go to sleep and how is mind wanders when it does. It wanders back to his childhood and his relationship with his mother and father. this then moves on to where he spent childhood holidays, and the village. It introduces Swann, who is then the topic of the second section, which retells a love affair in his life. The third section is back with the narrator, and feels to be later than the first section.
In the book not a lot actually happens. It does, however, do not a lot it in very languid and descriptive prose. It almost seduces you. ( )
  Helenliz | May 18, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 91 (next | show all)
Als we nu vanuit het microniveau van deze ene zin extrapoleren naar het geheel van dit eerste deel van de Recherche, kan volgens mij de conclusie niet anders luiden dan dat deze vertaling van Martin de Haan en Rokus Hofstede – maar dat gold ook voor die van Thérèse Cornips – bijzonder overtuigend is. Het accent ligt bij hen op vernederlandsing, maar de getrouwheid, zeker ook aan Prousts subtiele humor en ‘dubbelzinnige glimlach’, blijft steeds optimaal. Daarbij bereiken ze in de dialogen, iets wat hier totaal onderbelicht is gebleven, een grote levendigheid die Proust volkomen recht doet.
added by Jozefus | editDe Reactor.org, Clemens Arts (Mar 7, 2016)
 
Maarten 't Hart bespreekt de nieuwe vertaling van Swanns kant van Marcel Proust. De NRC meldde dat het een slordige vertaling zou zijn. Maarten 't Hart is het daar niet mee eens. Zij is soepeler dan de vroegere vertaling en daardoor prettiger leesbaar.
 
Toch is Swanns kant op een aanwinst, want de lezer heeft nu meer te kiezen: het idioom van De Haan en Hofstede is eigentijdser dan dat van hun voorgangers. Ze schrijven ‘kletspraatjes’ waar Thérèse Cornips, met haar voorkeur voor het schilderachtige, ‘palavers’ schrijft. Proust lezen is al zo’n onalledaagse ervaring (door die lange zinnen, maar ook doordat het verhaal zich in hoge Parijse kringen rond 1900 afspeelt) dat zijn taalgebruik, althans op plaatsen waar het niet gemarkeerd is door een eigenzinnige woordkeus, beter niet te barok vertaald kan worden.
 
Dat gebeurt wel vaker, dat lezers die hartstochtelijk van Proust houden, zich over een vertaling opwinden; op zichzelf is daar niets mis mee. Maar formuleringen die me de wenkbrauwen deden fronsen werden me vervolgens door mijn ergernis voorgespiegeld als onzorgvuldigheden – en dat terwijl de vertalers nu juist uiterst accuraat, daarvan ben ik inmiddels wel overtuigd, te werk zijn gegaan. Verder komen kleine foutjes in elke tekst voor, het is kinderachtig voor een criticus om daar zelfs maar over te beginnen.
 
Ik ben klaar om me te laten bedwelmen door de rest van de cyclus. Ik ben klaar om meer tijd te nemen dit eerste deel te herlezen om Proust dieper te doorgronden, zelfs in zijn meest slaapverwekkende proza, slaap is per slot van rekening ook een vorm van bedwelming. Je suis un proustien.
added by Jozefus | editTzum, Johannes van der Sluis (Jun 15, 2015)
 

» Add other authors (101 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Proust, Marcelprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Compagnon, AntoineEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Conte, RafaelForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cornips, ThérèseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davis, LydiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Enright, D. J.Translation revisionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fernandez, RamonForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Galantière, LewisIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ginzburg, NataliaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Howard, RichardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kilmartin, TerenceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lijsen, C.N.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raboni, GiovanniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salinas, PedroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scott Moncrieff, C. K.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scott Moncrieff, C. K.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tuomikoski, InkeriTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Veenis-Pieters, M.E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Longtemps je me suis couché de bonne heure (Du côté de chez Swann)
Ma mère, quand il fut question d’avoir pour la première fois M. de Norpois à dîner, ayant exprimé le regret que le Professeur Cottard fût en voyage et qu’elle-même eût entièrement cessé de fréquenter Swann, car l’un et l’autre eussent sans doute intéressé l’ancien Ambassadeur, mon père répondit qu’un convive éminent, un savant illustre, comme Cottard, ne pouvait jamais mal faire dans un dîner, mais que Swann, avec son ostentation, avec sa manière de crier sur les toits ses moindres relations, était un vulgaire esbrouffeur que le Marquis de Norpois eût sans doute trouvé selon son expression, «puant». (A l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleur)

Le pépiement matinal des oiseaux semblait insipide à Françoise. (Le côté de Guermantes)
On sait que bien avant d’aller ce jour-là (le jour où avait lieu la soirée de la princesse de Guermantes) rendre au duc et à la duchesse la visite que je viens de raconter, j’avais épié leur retour et fait, pendant la durée de mon guet, une découverte, concernant particulièrement M. de Charlus, mais si importante en elle-même que j’ai jusqu’ici, jusqu’au moment de pouvoir lui donner la place et l’étendue voulues, différé de la rapporter. (Sodome et Gomorrhe)
Dès le matin, la tête encore tournée contre le mur, et avant d’avoir vu, au-dessus des grands rideaux de la fenêtre, de quelle nuance était la raie du jour, je savais déjà le temps qu’il faisait. (La prisonnière)
Quotations
"I do feel that it's really absurd that a man of his intelligence should let himself be made to suffer by a creature of that kind, who isn't even interesting, for they tell me she's an absolute idiot!" she concluded with the wisdom invariably shewn by people who, not being in love themselves, feel that a clever man ought to be unhappy only about such persons as are worth his while; which is rather like being astonished that anyone should condescend to die of cholera at the bidding of so insignificant a creature as the common bacillus.
Last words
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Disambiguation notice
Swann's Way is the first volume of Proust's monumental Remembrance of Things Past. However, at least one publisher issued Swann's Way itself (and other volumes of Remembrance of Things Past) as multivolume works. Thus, you can have Swann's Way, Part One which is part 1 of part 1 of Remembrance of Things Past. Thus if you use "Part 1" as part of your book title make sure you distinguish between Part 1 of Remembrance of Things Past and Part 1 of Swann's Way.
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Original language
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142437964, Paperback)

Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time is one of the most entertaining reading experiences in any language and arguably the finest novel of the twentieth century. But since its original prewar translation there has been no completely new version in English. Now, Penguin Classics brings Proust’s masterpiece to new audiences throughout the world, beginning with Lydia Davis’s internationally acclaimed translation of the first volume, Swann’s Way.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:36 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

Presents the first book of Proust's monumental work "Remembrance of Things Past", introducing such themes as the destructive force of obsessive love, the allure and the consequences of transgressive sex, and the selective eye that shapes memories.

» see all 18 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

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