• sukhobok

In Search of Lost Time (Vol. 1) by Marcel Proust

While I understand that Proust started a movement in modern literature, I found the novel rather unsatisfying, which I don't say often. I could not help but feel that the book was filled with elitism and snobbery that would make even the Victorian writers cringe. Proust went to great length to describe the most trivial of scenes, whether it be the nightly "mother's kiss" that he looked forward to as a young boy or the beautiful French countryside that he often walked. However, (and perhaps this was the whole point of Proust's revolutionary work) there was very little plot development, which makes the book agonizing to read at times. The novel picks up when we start to learn about Charles Swann's affair with Odette, and perhaps that is the redeeming part of the novel, but even there it seems to fall short. I'll readily admit that my lack of enthusiasm for the novel is likely due to the fact that I have not developed the artistic temperament to appreciate beauty for beauty's sake.

If you enjoy looking at modern art where you cannot discern which way is up or down, then you may thoroughly enjoy Proust. However, while I would not go as far as to say I regret reading the first volume, I cannot say that I will continue on to the second anytime soon.