In Search of Lost Time, first translated into English as Remembrance of Things Past, and sometimes referred to in French as La Recherche, is a novel in seven volumes by French author Marcel Proust. This early 20th-century work is his most prominent, known both for its length and its theme of involuntary memory.
In Search of Lost Time Summary
In Search of Lost Time by Stéphane Heuet is a graphic novel adaptation of Marcel Proust’s classic novel of the same title. Heuet follows the original text closely, opting to use visuals to convey much of the inner monologue and symbolism in the story. In Search of Lost Time!
The story begins with the narrator commenting on his habit of going to bed early. He ponders how sleep alters perception. He recalls his room at his family’s home in Combray, and in particular one evening when a man named Charles Swann visited. As a result of this visit, his mother does not kiss him good night, but does read to him.
This is the only memory he has of that house. One day he eats a madeleine cake dipped in tea, and the taste suddenly unlocks a memory of having a madeleine at Combray as a child. This leads to further revelations—his meeting a lady dressed in pink, his love of the theater, his Jewish friend Bloch.
He learns that Swann entered into an unhappy marriage and wishes to see his daughter Gilberte move up in society. The narrator recounts his walks through the country following two distinct routes; on one walk he sees Gilberte talking to a lady in white. On another walk he witnesses a lesbian encounter. In Search of Lost Time!
He recalls how Swann was invited into a social circle ruled by Madame Verdurin by Odette de Crecy. Swann and Odette form a close relationship, but Swann later curdles into jealousy and Odette rejects him. Swann slowly gets over this, and later marvels he ever cared for her.
The narrator wishes to travel, but is ill, so substitutes a walk in Paris. He meets Gilberte and reveals that Swann did eventually marry Odette. The narrator ponders the transient nature of life. In Search of Lost Time!
At a dinner with his parents, the narrator shows an example of his writing to a diplomat named Norpois, who indicates it is not very good. The narrator continues to meet Gilberte in Paris; they play and wrestle and the narrator experiences an orgasm. He begins to visit Gilberte at the Swann’s house regularly.
When they get into a terrible fight the narrator leaves and waits for her to write, but she does not and slowly he forgets her. While vacationing with his grandmother, the narrator becomes obsessed with a group of young country girls. He meets a painter who knows them, and the narrator meets the beautiful Albertine Simonet and begins to spend time with her and her friends. She rejects his advances but they remain friends. In Search of Lost Time!
The narrator becomes obsessed with the wealthy and glamorous Guermantes family. He returns home when he hears his grandmother is ill, and struggles with being unable to begin writing. His grandmother suffers a stroke just as he is making some inroads with the Guermantes, and soon dies.
He is visited by Albertine and they kiss. He is invited to a party at the Guermantes, and meets the cream of society there, and engages in gossip which gets him into trouble. He is invited to a society party but is uncertain whether he is truly welcome, but when he arrives he is greeted warmly.
The narrator is overwhelmed by grief over the loss of his grandmother, and notes how his mother has grown more like her since her death. He spends time with Albertine but suspects she is a lesbian.
They spend more time together but he slowly tires of her company. When Albertine seems to push him away, however, he regrets this and convinces her to come with him to Paris, and tells his mother he must marry her. In Search of Lost Time!
They marry, and go to live at his family’s apartment. He has grown bored of her, but jealously tracks her movements. He comes to realize that she feels like a prisoner, and he learns that Swann has passed away. When the narrator attends a party he’d forbidden Albertine to attend, they fight, and she admits she has lied to him in order to avoid arguments. He threatens to leave her, but they make up; however, a few days later Albertine leaves him.
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About the Author
Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust was a French novelist, critic, and essayist who wrote the monumental novel In Search of Lost Time, originally published in French in seven volumes between 1913 and 1927. He is considered by critics and writers to be one of the most influential authors of the 20th century.