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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $15.00
  • October 2013
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-91916-5
  • 640 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

Swann's Way

Norton Critical Editions


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Marcel Proust (Author), Susanna Lee (Editor, Georgetown University)


In its centennial year, Marcel Proust’s masterpiece of literary imagination is available in a Norton Critical Edition.

Marcel Proust’s seven-volume masterpiece, In Search of Lost Time (A la recherche du temps perdu), has inspired many superlatives, among them “the greatest novel ever written” and “the greatest novel of the first half of the twentieth century.” Swann’s Way, the first volume of the Recherche and the most widely read and taught of all the volumes, is the ideal introduction to Proust’s inventive genius. This Norton Critical Edition is based on C. K. Scott Moncrieff’s translation, which introduced the English-speaking world to Proust and was published during the author’s lifetime. It is accompanied by Susanna Lee’s introduction, note on the text, and explanatory annotations.

Marcel Proust was forty-two years old when Swann’s Way was published, but its foundational ideas and general shape had been evolving for decades. “Contexts” includes a 1912 reader’s report of the manuscript that exemplifies publishers’ complicated reactions to Proust’s new form of writing. Also included are three important post-publication reviews of the novel, by Elie-Joseph Bois, Lucien Daudet, and Paul Souday, as well as André Arnyvelde’s 1913 interview with Proust.

The fourteen critical essays and interpretations of Swann’s Way in this volume speak to the novel’s many facets—from the musical to the artistic to its representations of Judaism and homosexuality. Contributors include Gérard Genette, whose “Metonymy in Proust” appears here in English translation for the first time, along with Gilles Deleuze, Roger Shattuck, Claudia Brodsky, Julia Kristeva, Margaret E. Gray, and Alain de Botton, among others.

The edition also includes a Chronology of Proust’s Life and Work, a Selected Chronology of French Literature from 1870 to 1929, and a Selected Bibliography.


    Editor’s Introduction
    Editor’s Note

    The Text of Swann’s Way

        Swann’s First Critic: A Confidential Report, 1912
        Élie-Joseph Bois and Proust’s Defence of Swann
        Lucien Daudet on Swann
        Paul Souday on Swann
        André Arnyvelde: An Interview with Proust

        Gilles Deleuze • The Types of Signs
        Walter Benjamin • The Image of Proust
        Gérard Genette • Metonymy in Proust
        Roger Shattuck • The Work and Its Author
        Claudia Brodsky • Remembering Swann: Memory and  Representation in Proust
        Richard Goodkin • Proust and Wagner: The Climb to the Octave Above, or, The Scale of Love (and Death)
        Christie McDonald • The Proustian Fabric: Associations of Memory
        Antoine Compagnon • The Last Writer of the Nineteenth Century and the First Writer of the Twentieth
        Julia Kristeva • Time and Sense: Proust and the Experience of Literature
        Elisabeth Ladenson • Sexuality and Readability
        Malcolm Bowie • Proust Among the Stars

    Contemporary Readings of Proust
        Margaret E. Gray • Proust, Narrative, and Ambivalence in Contemporary Culture
        Alain de Botton • How to Love Life Today
        Alex Ross • Imaginary Concerts: The Music of Fictional Composers

    Marcel Proust: A Chronology
    Selected Chronology of French Literature, 1870–1929
    Selected Bibliography