Swann's Way

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"Swann's Way is one of the preeminent novels of childhood - a sensitive boy's impressions of his family and neighbors, all brought dazzlingly back to life years later by the famous taste of a madeleine. It also enfolds the short novel "Swann in Love," an incomparable study of sexual jealousy that becomes a crucial part of the vast, unfolding structure of In Search of Lost Time. The first volume of the work that established Proust as one of the finest voices of the modern age - satirical, skeptical, confiding, and endlessly varied in his response to the human condition - Swann's Way also stands on its own as a perfect rendering of a life in art, of the past recreated through memory."--BOOK JACKET.

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Swann's way

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

"For a long time, I went to bed early" in order to enjoy the manifold pleasures of reading Davis's excellent new translation of Swann's Way. In October 2002, Penguin's "Modern Classics" series ... Read full review

User Review  - Jessica T. - Overstock.com

Quality book looks marvelous on shelf alone or with complete set! Read full review

Contents

Swann in Love
30
Notes
445
Synopsis
465
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Proust is one of the seminal figures in modern literature, matched only in stature by Joyce, Woolf, Mann and Kafka. By the last decade of the 19th century, the charming and ambitious Proust, born into a wealthy bourgeois family, was already a famous Paris socialite who attended the most fashionable salons of the day. The death of his parents in the early years of the 20th century, coupled with his own increasingly ill health, made of Proust a recluse who confined himself to his cork-lined bedroom on the Boulevard Haussmann. There he concentrated on the composition of his great masterpiece, Remembrance of Things Past (1913-27). In recent years, it was discovered that he had already prepared a first draft of the work in the 1890s in Jean Santeuil, which was only published posthumously in 1952. Remembrance of Things Past resists summary. Seeming at turns to be fiction, autobiography, and essay, Remembrance is a vast meditation on the relationship between time, memory, and art. In it the narrator, who bears the same first name as the author, attempts to reconstruct his life from early childhood to middle age. In the process, he surveys French society at the turn of the century and describes the eventual decline of the aristocracy in the face of the rising middle class. The process of reconstruction of Marcel's past life is made possible by the psychological device of involuntary memory; according to this theory, all of our past lies hidden within us only to be rediscovered and brought to the surface by some unexpected sense perception. In the final volume of the work, the narrator, who has succeeded in recapturing his past, resolves to preserve it through the Work of Art, his novel. He died of pneumonia and a pulmonary abscess in 1922. He was buried in the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

Lydia Davis is a writer and translator. She is a professor of creative writing at the University at Albany, SUNY, and was a Lillian Vernon Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at New York University in 2012. Davis has published six collections of short stories, including The Thirteenth Woman and Other Stories (1976) and Break It Down (1986), a Finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Her most recent collection was Varieties of Disturbance, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2007 and a Finalist for the National Book Award. Davis' stories are acclaimed for their brevity and humor. Many are only one or two sentences. Her book Can't and Won't made the New York Times Bestseller List in 2014. She has also translated Proust, Flaubert, Blanchot, Foucault, Michel Leiris, Pierre Jean Jouve and other French writers, as well as the Dutch writer A.L. Snijders. In October 2003 Davis received a MacArthur Fellowship. She was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005. Davis was announced as the winner of the 2013 Man Booker International Prize on 22 May 2013. Davis won £60,000 as part of the biennial award.

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