“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 can you recapture the past or at least attempt to in the way that Proust reveals the world. The characters especially will be with me always.”jwhenderson wrote this review Wednesday, February 9, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Incredible! Possibly the most beautiful writing I've ever encountered, and Proust's powers of observation blow me away.”Betty R wrote this review Tuesday, January 11, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I read this upon the prodding of Simon Stack. And when Simon Says go for it, I usually do, especially when he emails me the e-book, thrice translated, and pointedly asks me for my thoughts every chance he gets!
It can get very profound, yet it was fairly easy to read. And it is amazing how sharp his memory can be, if indeed he has based this on his childhood. Which I suppose it is, because his feelings on rejection, obsession and jealousy are so palpable-- anyone who has had a love affair can identify with him, albeit on a lesser scale--it could only have been based on real memories--he did not just conjure "doing a cattleya--" surely this veiled code for sex was based on true events. Moreover, I imagine Proust must have been prolific at journal writing, which would explain how he could summon his random thoughts and ruminate extensively on just about every subject that struck his fancy. He writes as if he had Dumbledore's pensieve with him and, using a magic wand, gathers a short strand of his past, drops this in the pensieve, and everything about that particular moment--the scenery, the characters, his mindset, manner and affectations, are instantly relived.
I just wish he didn't have to dwell so much on the hawthorne, the dogwood, the weather. But I quite enjoyed my frustrations over the respectable Swann's obsession with the courtesan Odette (who is neither attractive, cultured nor intelligent!), which of course concludes with a most desperate, humiliating scenario: marriage!
“I can see why this is great literature, the language and description were fantastic, but it was way to introspective and belly-button gazing for my tastes.”Rebecca R wrote this review Sunday, January 2, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Swann's Way is the first volume of Marcel Proust's epic autobiographical novel, Remembrance of Things Past.To call it a novel is a bit misleading since it has no discernible plot or narrative structure. It is, rather, a rambling and laboriously detailed meditation on people and places from Proust's past and on the nature of time and memory. Although some of the writing is extremely charming and insightful, I found this book to be, for the most part, a tedious and unrewarding read. It certainly did not motivate me to want to read any of the subsequent volumes.”Alan S wrote this review Sunday, September 26, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Proust gets intimate. He spares no detail and moves slowly. Characters change perceptions of one another many times, but he lets you adjust to this. This isn't a normal book, where a character's first impression lasts forever. Things change. It's more real that way.
This book is incredibly beautiful, though. Different aspects of life can be mirrored in fiction, but always in microcosm. Proust is trying to change that. If he can make real connections between you and his fictional characters, then he can make emotion that is of the same scale as real life. You could only accomplish that in a mammoth book like his.
Everything he says about memory and love and impressions seems so honest. I don't know what to say. This review seems messy, ugly, unworthy. I'll have to come back to revise to say something more fitting of this book.”
“Epais, copieux, délicieux. Doit se lire par grandes tranches. Frustrant, parce que l'on n'a pas le temps de tout apprécier.”Clementine B wrote this review Thursday, September 2, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Proust is a master of words. That's all I can say.”Adriana G. wrote this review Friday, August 20, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No