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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Surat (painting) in the literary sense, 18 Jan. 2008
This review is from: In Search Of Lost Time Vol 1: Swann's Way: Swann's Way Vol 1 (Vintage Classics) (Paperback)
It has taken approximately three months just to read through the first novel of this great and august work, which I suppose goes to show how much time and effort Proust put into writing this.

It is a very time-consuming plot. In the first instance he tends to go on at length about how he is waiting at the top of the stairs for his mother to come and kiss him goodnight and then deviates at length in a painterly and studious way around how he evokes the environs of Combray. This departure seems to extend into a little novella all of its own, before you arrive finally at the reason the book was entitled as it was, i.e. Swann's pursuit and on-off love affair with Odette. You wend your way via endless luncheons and dinner parties at the Verdurins and glimpsing Odette's other flings as a courtesan with various Comtes and Ducs (sic)particularly Fourcheville, who is Swann's main rival.

But all in all, this is a creative tour de force, is superbly written, as is evident by the number of drafts Proust went through before its final completion and is well worth three months of anyone's time in terms of a good bedtime read. I just hope Volume II will not be as time consuming. I think the phrase "just hang in there!" is appropriate as there are better things to come from this delightful range of novels.
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