Monday, December 6, 2021

Review of Swann's Way by Marcel Proust

This review was written by Eugene Kernes

Book can be found in:
Genre = Novel
Intriguing Connection = Some Kind of Friendship

Short Description


“The truth was that she could never make up her mind to purchase anything from which no intellectual profit was to be derived, and above all, that profit which good things bestowed on us by teaching us to seek our pleasures elsewhere than in the barren satisfaction of worldly wealth.” – Marcel Proust, Overture, Page 40

“Unfortunately, having formed the habit of think aloud, she did not always take care to see that there was no one in the adjoining room.” – Marcel Proust, Combray, Page 51

“He did not, however, draw her attention to this inconsistency, for he thought that, if left to herself, Odette might perhaps produce some falsehood which would give him a faint indication of the truth.” – Marcel Proust, Swann In Love, Page 287

Elaborate Description


Told with reminiscence.  Looking back on life’s events, which includes the family friend Charles Swann.  Containing the narrator’s thoughts during the events.  From times of getting into trouble and the unexpected consequences.  To reading experiences and the sources of pleasure.  From family life and the complexity of bonds.  To falling in love and being jealous.  Thoughts that contain the strategizing before an event, to get an appropriate response, and the varied results that ensue. Each event holds more than just what can be observed.  Along the way is an eclectic array of information and philosophy.  Thoughts on history, and the changing times.  The interplay between ideas and their impact on decisions made.  But what happened in the past cannot be changed, and the decisions made have to lived with.  Rationalizations of the past have their limitations.



This is a very tedious book to read, containing poor transitions between ideas.  But, the book’s writing is very consistent with the subject, unfiltered thoughts.  Which makes it feel authentic.

Questions to Consider while Reading the Book

•What is the raison d’etre of the book?  For what purpose did the author write the book?
•What are some philosophical ideas that interest you?
•Why discuss Swann’s life?
•What were some childhood experiences?
•What were some experiences with books and reading?
•Why do people fall in love?
•Who was important in Swann’s life?

Book Details
Edition ISBN:  9788827526422
Pages to read:   434
Publication:     2017
1st Edition:      1913
Format:            eBook

Ratings out of 5:
Readability    1
Content          1
Overall           1