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Remembrance of Things Past: Swann's Way & Within a Budding Grove: 1 [Kindle Edition]

Marcel Proust
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $23.00
Kindle Price: $15.99
You Save: $7.01 (30%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Here are the first two volumes of Proust’s monumental achievement, Swann’s Way and Within a Budding Grove. The famous overture to Swann's Way sets down the grand themes that govern In Search of Lost Time: as the narrator recalls his childhood in Paris and Combray, exquisite memories, long since passed—his mother’s good-night kiss, the water lilies on the Vivonne, his love for Swann’s daughter Gilberte—spring vividly into being. In Within a Budding Grove—which won the Prix Goncourt in 1919, bringing the author instant fame—the narrator turns from his childhood recollections and begins to explore the memories of his adolescence. As his affections for Gilberte grow dim, the narrator discovers a new object of attention in the bright-eyed Albertine. Their encounters unfold by the shores of Balbec. One of the great works of Western literature, now in the new definitive French Pleiade edition translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin.

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, French (translation)

From the Inside Flap

One of the great works of Western literature, now in the new definitive French Pleiade edition translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin. Volume one includes SWANN'S WAY and WITHIN A BUDDING GROVE.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1947 KB
  • Print Length: 1058 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0394711823
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1st Vintage Books ed edition (January 11, 2012)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006NKMN9W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #379,323 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
116 of 117 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning to swim-- my first Proust reading experience October 21, 2005
Some time ago, I received the Vintage three-volume box set version of Remembrance as a gift. I had rashly mentioned to a friend that I wanted to read Proust and he took me at my word-- the heavy set arriving by mail and scaring me half to death. It took me a long time to get around to reading it, but I finally summoned up my courage and took down the first volume.

I have many thoughts on the books, and the experience of reading them was not always easy. I will summarize, however, by saying that I believe that I was amply rewarded for making the time and space free to tackle this piece.

It took me quite a while to let myself get into the prose. Although I found it immediately beautiful, haunting even, I struggled over the long complex sentences and the unusual structure. The only advice that I can give to the potential first-time reader is to stop trying to catch everything and let yourself swim along. Eventually if you stop fighting the structure, it really starts to work and you are drawn along with it to the point where you no longer experience it as difficult.

Where is the reward for the reader? There is a passage in the book where Proust is discussing how time flows in any given life. He argues that in order to capture time passing, the novelist generally is given to "wildly accelerating the beat of the pendulum, to transport the reader in a couple of minutes over ten, or twenty, or even thirty years." What I found the most amazing on my first reading of Swann's Way and Within a Budding Grove was that remarkable sense of time in life that Proust is able to portray. He uses more than the wild leaps and jumps that he attributes to his generic novelist. He condenses time, extends it, shortens it and rearranges it.
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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Proust and Moncrieff June 17, 2009
Yes, Proust is difficult and, yes, he's worth the effort. However, very little is said of the Moncrieff translation. It's simply gorgeous. Compare his title, "Remembrance of Things Past," with "In Search of Lost Time." The first is poetry, the second the title of a History Channel program.
Buy the Moncrieff translation.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most staggering book you'll ever read October 16, 2011
This novel is absolutely staggering. I remember not just what I read from it, but what I was doing as I was reading, what the weather was, etc. It's such an overwhelming experience to be immersed in Proust's words, and truly un-like any other novel you'll ever read. I think it takes a sensitive disposition to really appreciate it and some will not like it, but I suggest reading a bit of it (the beginning is a good example of what to expect). It doesn't make any sense to consider the length when deciding whether or not to read-- if you like it, you'll want it to be as long as possible, and if you don't like it, it doesn't matter how long it is. I doubt many people have moderated feelings toward these books. And you can really enjoy these books on any level you want-- someone who casually reads it for pleasure may like it just as much as someone really into critical and literary theory.

A few of my favorite sentences:
"In the evening, when I came in from my walk and thought of the approaching moment when I must say good night to my mother and see her no more, the steeple was by contrast so soft and gentle, there at the close of day, that it looked as if it had been thrust like a brown velvet cushion against the pallid sky which had yielded beneath its pressure, had hollowed slightly to make room for it, and had correspondingly risen on either side; while the cries of birds that wheeled around it seemed to intensify its silence, to elongate its spire still further, and to invest it with some quality beyond the power of words.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent August 3, 2010
Commenting on Remembrance of Things Past as a whole.

It's awesome, complex and highly engaging literature that has a lot of substance to say about the modern world. It bears the impact of its time but it is by no means dated, and the chief insights it delivers are readily applicable to conemporary times. A lot of classics struggle to find a main relevance to later reading, seemingly either overly constrained to the factors that made them initially popular or such that it's puzzling why they took on great success in the first place. Proust doesn't have these issues, and it was apparent fairly early on in the reading what made it worth taking seriously as great literature and, even more pressingly, produced an engaging text.

As a novel it's about a lot of things, bringing in attention and a lot of insight into class, sexuality, anti-Semitism, literature, death, politics, nationalism and modernity. Beyond all these, what drives the book is the exploration of memory, reflection on previous events and the way they are recalled. In a large sense the protagonist isn't so much the main character as an individual but rather the memories of that person and the way they play themselves out. It's here that the immense length of the account works as a virtue rather than a flaw, providing a real sense of scale in depicting the mental relation to externality. It's a very wide ranging account and provides a real feeling into the experience of decades, offering a work highly condesnsed yet feeling solid enough in its arching over a whole lifetime. For lare segments this recollection seems to be hijacked by the biography of other people the protagonist encounters, giving substantive detail on their own ambitions, successes and failure.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The person who once asked Proust, "Tell me a little about yourself"...
Let it never be said that I shy away from a challenge (at least from a literary standpoint, I'm not about to go punching bears or anything). Read more
Published 3 months ago by Michael Battaglia
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine annotated edition
Extremely thorough notes for which the serious student will be grateful. The translation, however, is only adequate: it cannot match John Ciardi's version, which remains, after... Read more
Published 3 months ago by EZ
5.0 out of 5 stars Surrender!
I have a rule not to read classics in translation. There are plenty of great books written in English yet to tackle. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Randall L. Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read!
I don't know why some people are intimidated by Proust, but he is a brilliant writer
Published 5 months ago by Gabriela A. Pena
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, lyrical, captivating
The first two volumes in Proust's epic masterwork. SWANN'S WAY is the
most popular of the seven books, and was a movie about thirty years ago,
with Jeremy Irons as... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Peter C. Smernoff
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasure for the Patient
Someone once asked me if anyone ever really read Proust. The answer is yes. I did. Of course, I was an English major, and out of curiosity, I signed up for the most pleasant 12... Read more
Published 16 months ago by John Orozco
5.0 out of 5 stars They should release the other 2 volumes for Kindle
I've read this version of Proust a few times over the years, so I was very pleased to see that it had become available on the Kindle. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Alex Strasheim
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible writing and images of humans of all types
The writing is excellent; it's Proust!! Lots of detail and scenes that stay with you forever. Funny stories, beautiful imagery, great comment on French society that relates to our... Read more
Published on April 3, 2013 by Margo Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars The work is so rich; it stays with you forever.
Proust's masterpiece. He began writing in 1909 completed in 1927. It is a single book with seven volumes. Read more
Published on November 27, 2012 by Noovella
1.0 out of 5 stars Wow, different strokes, as they say...
I tried to read this book perhaps a dozen times over two months or so.... but it just ended up being a chore. Read more
Published on May 22, 2012 by Lance Kozlowski
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