I stumbled upon this magnificent work of of art, which is In Search of Lost Times or as French call it A La Recherche du Temps Perdu, two years ago. And hands down this is the best book that I have ever read.
French Love Story Depicted Beautifully
The first volume of the book called ” Swann’s Way” depicts the love story of a noble man called Monsieur Swann -who is a friend of the narrator’s ( author’s) family-, and his infatuation with a young woman of not a good reputation called Odette; whom he ends up marrying. I have read many love stories in my lifetime, but Swann’s story and the way it is depicted by Proust, stands out among all of them.
That Fantastic Prose….
Proust’s prose is so poetic, that you feel like you are reading a poem, or some sort of a magic lullaby that lulls you and takes you to the heart of a beautiful place. Swann’s melancholy, jealousy and the way he tolerates losing all of his friends -including the author’s family, because of Odette-, has been described in such way that you cannot believe that it is actually an ordinary story line , and keep thinking about how amazing it all is. The story gets even more beautiful, when the story’s narrator – I assume the author himself- grows up and falls in love with Gilberte the only child of Monsieur Swann and Odette, and goes through all the melancholy, jealousy, and people’s strange looks – since he keeps going to Swann’s place, or meets Gilberte on the Champs de Lise street- that Swann himself went through.
Swann’s Way and its Magic
I love all the seven volumes of this amazing book, but Swann’s way is my favorite. I ,like many of you probably, get a little bit scared when I see books that are a bit long – let alone coming in seven volumes- but I’ll tell you that Proust’s prose worth all the time in the world. I mean he is the only author who has only one book, and this alone is enough for generations and generations of readers.
However, if you still found it hard to read a long book, or your bad eyesight won’t let you enjoy the book the way you really should; no worries! There are audio book available for free for you to enjoy your coffee, drive, or just lie down on your bed and lose yourself in the streets of Paris, and in the magic of Proust’s breathtaking prose.
P.S: For those of you familiar with French language, I strongly recommend you to read the original version of the book/ or listen to the French audio book.