The celebrated first volume of the novel that “brilliantly explores the workings of time and memory against the backdrop of Belle Époque France” (The New Criterion).
One the greatest novels of the twentieth century, In Search of Lost Time begins with Swann’s Way, a young man’s evocative journey of perception and remembrance, “which meanders from the nameless narrator’s recollections of his Combray childhood to a time before his birth, when Swann was in love with Odette, and back again as the narrator meditates on the power of names over the imagination and recalls falling in love with Gilberte, Swann and Odette’s daughter” (Los Angeles Times).
“A masterpiece . . . Even when I’ve felt myself hopelessly drifting in my little boat, I’ve felt the lulling beauty of Proust’s writing. This is a man who can make a multi-page description of a Hawthorn blossom fascinating—and then do it again, and again, and again. What’s more, when you actually focus, pick up those oars and start powering through those dense waters, you realize just how much is going on beneath the surface. What insights. What subtle ironies. What teasing jokes. What sensual pleasures. What feats of memory and description. What loving characterizations. And what devastating character assassinations. You realize, in short, that this is the stuff.” —The Guardian
“Even those who have not read the novels are aware of the journey of memory on which the narrator goes when he tastes a madeleine dipped in tea; it has become ‘the Proustian moment.’” —The Telegraph