Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Slow Read: Swann's Way

In Search of Lost Time, Volume 1: Swann's Way by Marcel ProustIn Search of Lost Time: Volume 1, Swann's Way (Modern Library Classics) (v. 1)

by Marcel Proust, translated by Scott Moncrieff

I'm about to do a very slow read of this for the current series of Read the Classics at my library. I hope people will read along and chime in with comments. The professor warned us to give ourselves plenty of time for this dense read, so I am scheduling 8 weeks. I have to blog about it just to keep track! When I'm done the first bits would otherwise be as if seen through a disorienting fog.

Some of the others in the group may come here to visit. I hope folks will help to keep me on the reading schedule. That's another reason I do this...knowing someone is visiting keeps me posting. If anybody else is blogging about this at your own place, post a link so we can share.

I'm using the page numbers of the current edition of the Modern Library book for the reading schedule. I'll actually be reading it on my Kindle, so I include the first sentence for my own benefit. Kindle books lack page numbers, the one drawback as far as I can tell (it uses other numbers called 'locations'). Proust does not conveniently break up his book into chapters.


  • October 11-17: pp. 1-64; Part 1: Combray, Section 1
  • October 18-24: pp. 65-127; Section 2, beginning "Combray at a distance, from a twenty-mile radius, as we used to see it from the railway when we arrived there in the week before Easter...."
  • October 25-31: pp. 128-199; beginning "In spite of all this he would still have been received at Combray."
  • November 1-7: pp. 199-264; beginning "Thus was wafted to my ears the name of Gilberte, bestowed on me like a talisman..."
  • November 8-14: pp. 265-359; Part Two: Swann in Love
  • November 15-21: pp. 359-450; beginning "A sort of wit like Brichot's would have been regarded as out-and-out stupidity by the people among whom Swann had spent his early life..."
  • November 22-28: pp. 450-543; beginning "Even when he could not discover where she had gone, it would have sufficed him, to alleviate the anguish which he then felt, and against which Odette's presence, the joy of being with her..."
  • Nov. 29-Dec. 5: pp. 545-605; Part Three: Place Names . The Name
  • December 6: Discussing at the library
Whee, here we go! ...hurry up and slow down to read the book so many of us have been meaning to read for the longest time, but didn't because we needed just this kind of thing to motivate us...

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