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Remembrance of Things Past Volumes 1-3 Box Set Paperback – Box set, August 12, 1982

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Paperback, Box set, August 12, 1982
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Editorial Reviews Review

Marcel Proust whiled away the first half of his life as a self-conscious aesthete and social climber. The second half he spent in the creation of the mighty roman-fleuve that is Remembrance of Things Past, memorializing his own dandyism and parvenu hijinks even as he revealed their essential hollowness. Proust begins, of course, at the beginning--with the earliest childhood perceptions and sorrows. Then, over several thousand pages, he retraces the course of his own adolescence and adulthood, democratically dividing his experiences among the narrator and a sprawling cast of characters. Who else has ever decanted life into such ornate, knowing, wrought-iron sentences? Who has subjected love to such merciless microscopy, discriminating between the tiniest variations of desire and self-delusion? Who else has produced a grief-stricken record of time's erosion that can also make you laugh for entire pages? The answer to all these questions is: nobody.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-In 1998, French cartoonist Heuet began a planned 12-volume project to recast Marcel Proust's opus as a full-color graphic novel. This second in the series to be translated into English continues the story of a young man so sensitive to his surroundings that even the memory of scents and tastes fills his thoughts and colors his health. He accompanies his grandmother to the seaside at Balbec, eagerly anticipating the drama of the waves he imagines can be viewed from the 12th-century church, but resigned to a lengthy stay at a tourist hotel where the concept of social class takes on a nearly gladiatorial pitch. Heuet's illustrations key in to the newness of electric lighting, the frivolity of fashions, and the rigidity of correct facial expressions and postures. Both narrative frames and speech bubbles are studded with Proustian turns of phrase. While certainly no substitute for the original, the book offers a wealth of period and aesthetic detail that will delight artists and readers.
Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Vintage; Box edition (August 12, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394712439
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394712437
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 6.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,119,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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89 of 90 people found the following review helpful By J. Wombacher on July 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
Proust's great novel does not need to be read all at one time. I read it one volume at a time and usually took six months to a year off between volumes. I was always able to pick up right where I left off with nothing lost, like visiting old friends. I think it is OK to think of Remembrance of Things Past as a series of novels. I know Proust would disagree with this. It was very important to him that his readers consider carefully the unifying theme and symmetry to which he aspired in the novel, but I think that aspect became less and less tangible as his manuscript grew from 1000 pages originally to 2000, and then from 2000 to the 4000 odd pages it ended up being (he continued to expand the manuscript right up until the time of his death). In any event, the grand theme he designed will not be lost on you if you stay with the novel until the end and it is wonderful when you consider it, but it is not the reason I love the novel so well. Swann's Way, Within a Budding Grove, and The Guermantes Way are decisively the best volumes and, fortunately, they are the first three in that order. If you like Swann's Way but are intimidated by the gargantuan size of the entire series, then plan to read at least the first three volumes. In this way you will have experienced Proust's best material. The entire novel is essentially a fictional autobiography or memoir. It is narrated by a man whose name we are never given, although he does hypothetically suggest the name "Marcel" for himself on one occasion about three-fourths of the way through. The story is inspired by events and people from Proust's life, but it is strictly a fiction. Swann's Way is the only volume in which the narrator is not the central figure in the story.Read more ›
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187 of 198 people found the following review helpful By B. Thomas at on August 27, 1998
Format: Paperback
"A la recherche du temps perdu" is not simply a book - it is an experience in time-travel. I read the first two volumes at the age of 22, and was overwhelmed by the density, complexity, and beauty of Proust's style (magnificent even in translation), but I could not appreciate the book's deeper emotional resonances because I had not lived long enough or loved intensely enough. Although I am only five years older now, I have suffered through two intense, beautiful, and sorrowful relationships, and these experiences have made rereading Proust one of the most rewarding activities I have ever engaged in. I am half-way through "Le Temps Retrouve" and look forward to starting the whole thing again as soon as I have finished this first reading. Even if you don't have the patience to read the entire cycle, at least read "Du Cote du Chez Swann/Swann's Way," which perfectly encapsulates the effects, styles, and themes of the entire work. If you have ever fallen in love, the section "Swann in Love" in this book will make you really think about this sensation. Proust's style may seem long-winded and pretentious at first, but once you become accustomed to it, you will realize that Proust's way of looking at the world seems to explain much that is mysterious in the human mind and heart. I have no words of praise high enough for this book. It will shock you into realizing how terrible and beautiful life really is, and how complex people are underneath the mask which we present to most other humans we encounter. The paintings of Vermeer (which play an important part in the novel) are the closest visual equivalent to this book - the sheer poetry of everyday existence is deftly and exquisitely communicated.Read more ›
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189 of 201 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
I'm afraid I cannot really quantify "A la recherche dutemps perdu" in terms of a star rating, although I have had togive it 5 stars because I couldn't submit my review otherwise! It took me the best part of two years to read Proust's magnum opus and the question I find myself asking is: was it time well spent? I'm really not sure, even two years later.
The first and most important thing I will say is that the novel is unlike anything you will ever read, and Proust is totally unique among authors. If you thought Tolstoy or Eliot were insightful, Proust digs beneath another ten layers of motive and counter-motive to reveal his truths: there has never been a writer prepared to go to such exhaustive lengths. I'm still not sure exactly what the book is about, either. Nominally it is an exploration of the perception of time and its effects on the mind. Proust shines this light on his protagonist's early years and the high social circles he finds himself moving in. Some of the characters are memorably bizarre - principally the Baron de Charlus, whose incredible arrogance and self-deception will certainly provide the reader with a few surprises.
... Proust's other fascinations with lineage and place names may not be to every reader's tastes but are revealing insights into his incredible pedantry and appetite for minutiae.
The writing itself is often astonishing - Proust's ideas about love, betrayal and jealousy are sometimes diametrically opposed to received wisdom, but when he concentrates his unmistakable genius on these themes it is hard not to agree with his reasoning, however cynical it may be.
Overall, I wouldn't recommend "A la recherche du temps perdu" lightly. Many people won't get past the opening ruminations over the effects of Marcel missing his mother's goodnight kiss. However, for serious literary buffs it is a must. END
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