Remembrance of Things Past: Volume 1

Remembrance of Things Past Volume Proust s masterpiece is one of the seminal works of the twentieth century recording its narrator s experiences as he grows up falls in love and lives through the First World War A profound reflectio

  • Title: Remembrance of Things Past: Volume 1
  • Author: Marcel Proust
  • ISBN: 9780241205921
  • Page: 474
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Proust s masterpiece is one of the seminal works of the twentieth century, recording its narrator s experiences as he grows up, falls in love and lives through the First World War A profound reflection on art, time, memory, self and loss, it is often viewed as the definitive modern novel C K Scott Moncrieff s famous translation from the 1920s is today regarded as a claProust s masterpiece is one of the seminal works of the twentieth century, recording its narrator s experiences as he grows up, falls in love and lives through the First World War A profound reflection on art, time, memory, self and loss, it is often viewed as the definitive modern novel C K Scott Moncrieff s famous translation from the 1920s is today regarded as a classic in its own right and is now available in three volumes in Penguin Classics This first volume includes Swann s Way and Within a Budding Grove Scott Moncrieff s volumes belong to that special category of translations which are themselves literary masterpieces his book is one of those translations, such as the Authorized Version of the Bible itself, which can never be displaced A N Wilson For the reader wishing to tackle Proust your guide must be C K Scott Moncrieff There are some who believe his headily perfumed translation of la recherche du temps perdu conjures Belle poque France vividly even than the original Telegraph I was interested and fascinated by your rendering than by Proust s creation Joseph Conrad to Scott Moncrieff

    One thought on “Remembrance of Things Past: Volume 1”

    1. If there is anything that Proust taught me, it's patience. I'm a fast reader, but his books require a slow, contemplative reading. I enjoy tight, spare prose, yet he meanders and spends a page describing the quality of light at one specific moment. I'm not sentimental, and he wallows in nostalgia. The best advice I got when starting the series was to give myself over to the experience, turn off the left hemisphere of my brain and just try to imagine the cool French air, the buttery taste of the [...]

    2. If you have not yet read Proust, please put aside whatever else you might be reading. Better yet, get rid of it. There is hardly a point. Literature, life, art, love, yearning, the mind, brothels, dinners, celebrities, fashion, aesthetics, cookies, insomnia, the beach, France, mothers, the theater, obsession, flowers, and memory, to name just a few, are perfectly captured here. Writing before Proust is little but a long prologue; after him, side notes. Also, if you're curious about Proust, pleas [...]

    3. Proust is unquestionably brilliant, although not for the lightminded reader by any means. I had no idea what I was getting into when I decided I needed to read this novel. It is made up of six enormously dense volumes. I've only made it through the first two, and honestly, I'm taking a break for a while. Each sentence is so well crafted and so full it takes minutes just to digest what it is you've finished reading. The minutest details of a split-second thought can have you reading for fifteen p [...]

    4. OK. Fine. I said my February reading project was going to be "Infinite Jest" and RoTP. So I'll give this another shot. Provided you all promise to give "Ulysses" another chance.Feb 15th: here goes nuthin'!**************************************************************************With apologies to Alain de Botton and others, I regret to say that I am probably doomed to eternal philistinism where Proust is concerned.My views can roughly be summarized as follows. At my age (50), life starts to seem [...]

    5. A man seeking to connect with the meaning of his life discovers a new theory on the reality of time. It seems that time is not traditionally linear but rather, in truth, humans are subject to triggers, as simple as a madeleine and a cup of tea, which can send one unwittingly hurtling into the past. Depending upon the associations one may have with such triggers, the journey may be pleasant or painful. But in order to understand where we have traveled, one must revisit the past and surge existent [...]

    6. (part one of three)Marcel Proust’s monumental novel, A la recherche du temps perdu, traditionally translated into English as Remembrance of Things Past, from a line in one of Shakespeare’s sonnets, and probably better translated in more recent editions as In Search of Lost Time, consists of seven books. Having last read it a quarter of a century ago, I decided that I wanted to read it at least once more in this lifetime. In my previous reading I read ten pages each night before falling aslee [...]

    7. Cher Marcel,Cher Marcel, ti scrivo perché mi hai irretito per la seconda volta nella vita, e spetterà a te spiegare perché non avrò, probabilmente per mesi,altre letture, perché diserterò la mia benamata biblioteca, perché non recensirò più libri - non leggendo altri all'infuori del tuoQuesto è il momento, questo il progetto.Più di quarant'anni fa, durante una lunga estate, la prima lontana dalla mia famiglia, lessi la Recherche, tutta di un lungo fiato, nella stessa edizione nella qu [...]

    8. It seems totally appropriate to finish this re-read of the first volume (which sounds completely pretentious, right? Like who reads Proust more than once?) of Proust on the last day of the year. Here we are finishing up the last of the Artist Formerly Known as 2011 and I finished Proust (well, the first volume anyway). It feels good, really. The end of the year is all about reflection and internal reevaluation and Oprah and shit, and Proust is about those things too. (Maybe not Oprah, but try to [...]

    9. This might just be my favorite book of all time. It's probably because I envy Proust's profession as professional nostalgist (although not his bedridden tendencies), but also because the writing is exquisite. There is a paragraph about asparagus in "Combray" that still dances behind my eyelids sometimes, and one about allegory that has changed the way I think about the relationship between art and life. Heavy stuff, but done in the lightest possible way, with the longest and most meandering sent [...]

    10. 2013 is my Year of Reading Dangerously. I've decided to get through all 3900 pages of Proust's REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST and then jump directly into the God-knows-how-many thousand pages of Balzac's THE HUMAN COMEDY, the gigantic tapestry that comprises practically every book and story Balzac wrote. I call it "dangerous" because I've told a lot of people I'm doing it, and there's every chance it will defeat me; either I'll give up or die of old age before I finish one or both.SWANN'S WAY is the [...]

    11. I began this endeavor as an act of intent and willpower, jogging gear on, new running shoes, stretching exercises stretched. It certainly began that way. Swann's Way is an essential backdrop to Within a Budding Grove. I won't repeat here what I said about it in an earlier review. What needs to be said is that it is large in scope covering a segment of French culture at the time entombed within the confines of their conventions and social life, affording them limited access to a discovery of thei [...]

    12. I tried. I really did. But I finally had to hide this, unfinished, between the mattress and the boxspring.

    13. 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 [...]

    14. I always have excellent posture when I read Proust. Even my body is at full attention; this is no casual read. Nevertheless, it is well worth the effort. Proust attains an excruciating precision in mapping both external and internal landscapes. Like Artaud, Proust articulates neurosis/obsession/madness with such detail that the reader feels privy to the narrator's psyche.

    15. I've reviewed the two books separately here: /review/show/1840916144/review/show/1859555946and am going to take a break before continuing on my Proust journey

    16. Another reread. What can I say about Proust? I'm sure there's no insight to the novel or feelings about how it touches me that hasn't been expressed before in dozens of ways. Earlier in the year I came across something by Peter Gay in a book called Modernism: The Lure of Heresy: From Baudelaire to Beckett and Beyond that I thought insightful:"There is a short, memorable passage titled "The Intermittences of the Heart" in A la recherche that occurs in Sodome et Gomorrhe, the volume published just [...]

    17. I launched into À la recherche du temps perdu the summer between high school and starting GT, struggled to finish this volume (containing the first two of seven parts), and didn't much care for it at all. Then again, those were still highly formative times, where I was trying to drag in as much different material as possible; 4000+ pages of French playboy modernism did not at that time qualify as efficient intake. These three imposing texts have traveled with me since then as a mordant whole, l [...]

    18. Well, two down. Remarkable, of course, with insights into everything from the art of the novel to love to time itself and the minutiae of life in the country- or sea-side. Not only is this a source for a great Tom Russell song ("The dogs bark but the caravan moves on"). But this: "r existence is of little interest save on days when the dust of realities is mingled with magic sand, when some trivial incident becomes a springboard for romance. Then a whole promontory of the inaccessible world merg [...]

    19. Well. Finally, finally, I read Proust. And I did not just start reading Proust, I finished this book that is - what? - 1 out of 7 volumes? Do I have to read the others now? No! Noooo! All joking aside, it is a magnificent, exalted, brilliant piece of literature that is unique to my knowledge. It will also test the patience of all but the most devoted readers. Granted, I have an attention span that is shorter than it once was - who doesn't, these days? - but the only way I made it to the last pag [...]

    20. I acquired the first volume of ‘Remembrance’ many years ago, more from a sense of long-delayed obligation to the literary canon than with much expectation of pleasure. Well, that was the best part of a year of my reading life lostIf the first 100 or so pages of ‘Swann’s Way’ don’t leave you stunned and gasping (and not necessarily in a good way), stop reading. You’ve got better things to do with your life.When people speak of the greatness of ‘Remembrance’, I think that they ar [...]

    21. Reading this with two GoodReads friends -- which is probably the only way I am going to get through it. I have only read a few dozen pages and (silly me -- looking for paragraph breaks) keep getting lost in the curtains and the grandmother's affections.Finally finished this -- finally. Now I realize that getting lost in thoughts about the curtains, the hawthorne bushes and his mother's lace hems is probably the point. Still, I got impatient. I found the first part of Combray quite tiresome, enou [...]

    22. Mark Twain once made that comment about classics being books that everyone talks about but no one reads, and it might be no truer than with Proust monumental Remembrance of Things Past. I spent '07 trying to get through Volume 1 and I'll spend '08 on Volume 2. I love Proust at his best, and there's certainly a great deal here for Lit Majors or Professors to talk about, mull over, write papers on, etc. but the problem is that I'm neither these days, and my enjoyment is limited to passages that ma [...]

    23. I read this in a class at U of Chicago where I discovered the wonder of Proust. From the famous opening where Marcel, the narrator, cannot go to sleep until he receives a kiss from his mother to the literal and figurative journeys down Swann's Way as Marcel begins to mature the reader is presented with a cornucopia of feelings, sounds, ideas and people. Only in Shakespeare, having read a majority of his plays, have I encountered anything close to this representation of humanity. And nowhere else [...]

    24. I am carrying these around everywhere and reading it at every chance. Nabokov said that Tolstoy was best at reproducing real time, and Proust seems to have this. You just follow the characters, feeling like you are living them. The ending to Within a Budding Grove was so beautiful. I loved the part when Marcel leans over to kiss Albertine. Proust really put me there with him. I wonder how authors do that. Reading this has been exhausting. Other books I can read for hours at a time, but this wear [...]

    25. Emmanuel Levinas called Proust "a psychologist of the infinitesimal." The concrete images Proust crafts with infinite details and patience in his novel are not so much based on the actual experiences he might have had, as they are based on the marvel of imagination rooted in the memory. Proust presents an incontrovertible case of imagination and memory for philosophers to ponder. The fact that his descriptions are fictional matters not here, because the novel stems from the experiences he rememb [...]

    26. I struggled whether to give this 3 or 4 stars. The beautiful poetic sections that sharply hit home to the heart of the human experience and things remembered are unsurpassed. But then there is so much detail about matters and circumstances that are uninteresting, and I found that the never-ending convoluted sentences were numbing my brain. I had to do a lot of re-reading to get back on track to the point of the sentence and paragraph. I also felt the main characters (Swann and the narrator) to b [...]

    27. Blahblahblahblahblah. Blahdeblahdeblah. Blahblahblahdeblahdeblahblahblah. Having said that, reading Proust is a lot like sitting at a table at a café with someone who can't stop talking about themselves and their thoughts, however mundane, and their experiences, however uneventful. Eventually, the chair you're sitting on gets quite uncomfortable, your coffee grows cold, and what you really want is to get up and leave. But because you're in it for the long haul, you sit, listening patiently, wai [...]

    28. Originally published on my blog here in August 1998 and here in November 1998.Swann's WaySwann's Way (Au cote de chez Swann) is the first in Proust's monumental Remembrance of Things Past. This Penguin edition, of the whole novel in three volumes, is an updating of the famous English translation of C.K. Scott Moncrieff, rewritten to fit in with a new, greatly improved French edition prepared after Moncrieff's death.The first part of Swann's Way, the introductory Overture, immediately immerses us [...]

    29. I read this years ago in French--well, just the middle section--Swann in Love. Now I'm almost done with the entire novel and am somewhat embarrassed (because reading Proust in the 21st century is considered pretentious or stupid or just weird) to say I am truly loving this book. My only complaint is that it is hard to find suitable breaks in which to put it down between readings. Certainly Proust didn't intend for this monumental work (six more novels to go to complete all of Remembrance of Thin [...]

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