Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust

Free US/UK Kindle Classic
I will at times write about books I have covered before, because they are just too good to only feature once! This is one of those times.  I love Marcel Proust’s epic, Remembrance of Things Past and think it is wonderful you can get the classic first volume, Swann’s Way, for free. (US Edition)  (UK Edition

This edition of Swann’s Way is Scott Moncrief’s excellent 1922 translation.  Pay no attention to reviews citing a poor conversion.  That problem was corrected – but the warning reviews remain.
Proust is an intimidating author, but I find the beginning of his work very accessible.
For a long time I used to go to bed early. Sometimes, when I had put out my candle, my eyes would close so quickly that I had not even time to say "I'm going to sleep." And half an hour later the thought that it was time to go to sleep would awaken me; I would try to put away the book which, I imagined, was still in my hands, and to blow out the light; I had been thinking all the time, while I was asleep, of what I had just been reading, but my thoughts had run into a channel of their own, until I myself seemed actually to have become the subject of my book: a church, a quartet, the rivalry between François I and Charles V.
This is all familiar territory.  We have all inhabited that twilight state where it could go either way, back to restful sleep or reluctantly up for hours.  From there, Proust recreates his narrator’s world of love and unrequited love.  Also familiar territory . . .
Here is Swann speaking:
"The fault I find with our journalism is that it forces us to take an interest in some fresh triviality or other every day, whereas only three or four books in a lifetime give us anything that is of real importance."
This may be one of your four books.  Download it and find out.

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  1. I've had a copy of that on my shelf for about 15 years and have never read it. TODAY, I'm pulling it off the shelf. Thanks!

  2. How wonderful! Update me in a few weeks!


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