Fridays are for readers: À la recherche du temps perdu

This is more a challenge than a suggestion: a whole year to read all the 1.5 million words of  À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time) by Marcel Proust, one of the longest novels in world literature.

It’ll be a slow, profound, emotional reading. To start reading this chef d’oeuvre means to completely soak into Proust’s world, in the conflicts and impulses of the protagonist’s soul and of the Belle Epoque society that was slowly and relentlessly decaying.

It’s the work of an entire life, Proust’s and of the protagonist’s, and it tells us everything we need to know about Life: love and jelousy, disease, pain and heartache, childhood, aristocracy, time, oblivion… there’s not a single aspect of life (and society) missing here. And memory is the real key of this novel, the only means to understand and create reality, the only way to catch Lost Time.

Proust offers us all an intense work of introspection, a novel of true psychology where every reader can recognize or discover a part of themselves. Not an easy reading, but full of little pleasures.

Challenge accepted? 😉

Comme il y a une géométrie dans l’espace, il y a une psychologie dans le temps, où les calculs d’une psychologie plane ne seraient plus exacts parce qu’on n’y tiendrait pas compte du temps et d’une des formes qu’il revêt, l’oubli ; l’oubli dont je commençais à sentir la force et qui est un si puissant instrument d’adaptation à la réalité parce qu’il détruit peu à peu en nous le passé survivant qui est en constante contradiction avec elle.

As there is a geometry in space, so there is a psychology in time, in which the calculations of a plane psychology would no longer be accurate because we should not be taking into account time and one of the forms that it assumes, oblivion; oblivion, the force of which I was beginning to feel and which is so powerful an instrument of adaptation to reality because it gradually destroys in us the surviving past which is a perpetual contradiction of it.

*If you’d like to listen to an extract of the novel, you can go here: Mais ç’avait été Albertine. You’ll find the French text to follow the audio and also the English translation of it.


About Marta Favro

Full time employee in an online marketing agency, photographer and traveller (not necessary in that order). Graduated in English Literature. Passionate of long walks in the Nature, cats, books, music.
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3 Responses to Fridays are for readers: À la recherche du temps perdu

  1. Sir G says:

    i’ve been not reading but listening to La Recherche for the last 12 months or so — I have barely made it to Girls in bloom because a) i invariably fall asleep (and most sweetly) and then have to go back and relisten (and fall asleep again); but also because what I do catch is so delicious that i then have to go back and re-listen. i repeat myself.

  2. Marta Favro says:

    My reading of La Recherche has been very long too and as you write delicious. And when I read the last word I wanted to re-start reading it all to savour every single word again. I love the adjective and adverb you have used: sweetly and delicious. I think they perfectly describe the feeling you have when reading (or listening) to this artwork.
    Thanks a lot for sharing!

  3. Emma Espejo says:

    Challenge accepted!!
    (in summer, of course! I’ll need some extra time 😉 )

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