Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Swann's Way (Modern Library) Mass Market Paperback – 29 Apr 2004


See all 23 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Mass Market Paperback, 29 Apr 2004
£56.09 £1.76


Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Inc; New Ed edition (29 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812972090
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812972092
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.7 x 17.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,257,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


Product Description

Review

“If you’ve never got round to reading this famous philosophical Frenchman, Simon Callow’s lively narration is an excellent introduction to Proust.”
Daily Mail 31/1/97

--This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

From the Back Cover

'I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid, and the crumbs with it, touched my palate than a shudder ran through my whole body…An exquisite sensation had invaded my senses…I decided to attempt to make it reappear. I retrace my thoughts to the moment at which I drank the first spoonful of tea…And suddenly the memory returns.'

Published in 1913, 'Swann's Way' is the first of the seven parts of Marcel Proust's masterpiece, 'Remembrance of Things Past', one of the major achievements of twentieth-century literature. The narrator discovers that an involuntary memory triggered by some casual action – say, eating a madeleine cake or stooping to remove one's shoe – has the power to recover large areas of the past; and he sets out to resurrect his past life and the people and places that most affected him. 'Swann's Way', which is offered here in the celebrated translation by C. K. Scott Moncrieff, focuses particularly on Charles Swann and his love for Odette.

"I don't think there has ever been in the whole of literature such an example of the power of analysis."
JOSEPH CONRAD

--This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
First Sentence
For a long time I would go to bed early. Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Nov. 1998
Format: Hardcover
Proust is one of the very few authors who meets the test of time. After one has absorbed the religious eccentricities of Tolstoy and Dostoevski, they lose some of their appeal. But in Proust there is nothing of the sort. Nothing in him is childish (unless, of course, he is actually describing a child) and nothing in him is pretentious. In fact, I really cherish this novel because it is simply the longest set of true statements which I have ever read. From beginning to end. Proust was obsessed with putting down the truth as he saw it, and in language which has moved many other major authors to tears of admiration and envy.
Watch out! The first two volumes (!) really function as an overture, and in volume 3 everything changes, as the novel becomes almost Dickensian. I don't think you will ever be able to forget the Baron de Charlus, or Mme de Guermantes, or Gilberte, or Albertine, or Saint-Loup, or any of the rest of the magnificent cast of characters.
Not for everyone, but, then again, TV is for everyone, and who wants that?
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Jan. 1999
Format: Hardcover
For the longest time, I was too intimidated to read Proust. Then, one day, I dived into this first volume like jumping into the deep end of a swimming pool. My only regret is not having jumped in sooner.
This book is the beginning of one of the greatest novels ever written. The prose and imageries are breathtaking--not at all difficult to read if you take the time to savor each sentence. Proust, like all great writers, makes you read on his terms. But once you've surrendered to the style, what a treasure you find yourself floating in. The themes and characters are universal. It makes me wish I knew French to enjoy Proust untranslated. Swann's Way can be read as its own novel. But once you start, you would surely want to continue on.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brownbear101 on 16 Jan. 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
A triple story of unrequited love, told with incredible emotional detail and brilliant evocation of each scene and moment. Extremely convoluted sentence construction and an extraordinary vocabulary make this a work that requires concentration. Read the gorgeous Montcrieff translation or better still read this in French.

Five hundred pages, four chapters, very few paragraphs and only about one full stop per page; this book requires the most intense concentration just to work out where you are in each sentence. Proust starts on one point and then, through sub-clauses, parenthesis, asides, recollections, similes, retrenchments, remembrances and speculations ends up at the punch line of a shaggy dog story or in jerking the plot forward almost exactly when you felt he had forgotten the point altogether. He never pauses for breath, so that this is not a book you can take to bed intending to read to the end of the chapter or next piece of the action because Proust simply rolls on and on, each thought connecting to the next like waves on a shore. It's perfectly possible to lose your place on a page, or to be distracted away from the text, and for it to make no difference to the connectedness of the narrative. But to skim along would be to miss the point, which is the unbelievable verve, panache, creativity and sheer gold-plated excellence of the writing - it is quite sublime and quite impossible for the lay man to describe accurately. The nearest I can get are the word paintings of the British Victorian art critic John Ruskin, which marvelously and concretely recreate the works of art or scenes Ruskin wished to bring to the reader's mind.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jpa Mokuolu on 9 July 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I haven't read the version of this particular publisher, but if it is the Moncrieff and Kilmartin translation then I find it rather ponderous what some of the poor reviews are about. This novel is the very definition of literary genius, I'm not sure if it matches up to my favourite novelist Dostoevski, but I did often feel unfaithful to him; while very different in style, Proust is every bit as philosophically and psychologically subtle as the great russian master; and like other writers I enjoy he seems to weave these insights sumptuosly and seemlessly into the narrative. From Bergson's theory of memory and the 'elen vital' to Shopenhauer's metaphysical pessismism as well as arts redemptive role in our endless striving to continue to live and love which can ultimately be reduced to vain suffering, to a ruthless and humourous social critique of the petit bourgeoisie, and an insight into the nature of love and jealousy, which can only be rivalled by Shakespeares Othello, plus a host of ideas and comic portrayals that are trully original and Proustian this novel is trully flawless. A great addition to the tradition of French novels exploration of sexuality on the fringe, investigating themes such as child sexuality, homosexuality etc with the boldness of Battaille or Sacher-Masoch and the psychological penetration of Freud. Now as I mentioned I have not read this particular version, but I do relate to some of the reviews, often I have come across translations that make books like War and Peace, which one requires alot of patience for rather opaque and then rediscovered the novel in a different translation which makes it infinitely more pleasurable. As for Proust himself and his narrative as well as insights, I can assure you he's not at fault. try everymans Library version, its trully a masterpiece of translation in and of itself. after you've read that you will appreciate any translation of Proust.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Look for similar items by category


Feedback