7 Apr 2009

Proust. Entry Directory. Du coté chez swann (Swan's Way)

by Corry Shores  
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Entry Directory for

Marcel Proust

Du côté de chez swann.
A la recherche du temps perdu. Tome I

Swan's Way
Vol. 1 of Remembrance of Things Past

Première partie


§1 / 1&2 [Narrator describes how as he falls asleep his mind drifts to the fiction of dream and how this fanciful imagery persists vibrantly and convincingly immediately upon awakening. / He thinks about a train traveler whose new experiences in a strange land will fix themselves in this voyager’s memory forever.]

§2 / 3 [Narrator describes how when awaking at midnight he sees light under the door, and experiences that moment like an invalid in a hospital thinking day is coming, but in fact the servants are really putting out the narrator’s hall lights and it is actually midnight.]

§3  / 4 [Narrator describes how he might awaken from nightmares about his uncle tearing his curls as a boy.]

§4 / 5 [He explains how also in this delusional state of immediate awakenness in the night he might believe there to be a beautiful woman lying next to him.]

§5 / 6 Dreams' Disappearance [He notes how in this half-asleep state we misperceive how much time has passed and we also do not know who we are.]

§6 / 7 Reclined Recall [He is also spatially disoriented, and only by means of bodily disposition does he gain initial orientation of place among objects around him.]
§7 / 8 Dream Walk of Moonlight [He gains consciousness. He is in Mme. de Saint-Loup’s house, located at the countryside of Tansonville where he grew up, at dinner time.]
§8 / 9 Galloping Delusions [And upon awakening his mind runs through all remembered bedrooms as rapidly as the frames of a horses gallop in a kinétoscope.]
§9 / 10 ReDreams of Rooms Past [He often spends his nights remembering all these other places.]

§10 / 11 Walls Full of Dreams [He recalls how as a child in Combray he would project magic lantern images on his wall, which made his room strange and unrecognizable.]

§11 / 12 Magic in the Ardennes [He recalls specifically one lantern show, the tale of Genevière of Brabant. The projected imagery mixes with the wall and nearby things to mix fantasy and reality.]

§12/13 From Magic Lantern Fantasy to the Dinner Table.  [He is unsettled by  how the lantern images take over his room, which is a reflection of his habit and personality. Then the dinner bell rings and he is pulled back into daily reality.]

§13 / §14 After dinner, if storming, grandmother rejoices outside [After dinner there would be chatting outside or inside depending on the weather, but grandmother would go out in the rain and even rejoice under a storm.]

§14/15 Grandmother’s seeming concern about Grandfather’s drinking and real concern for the narrator’s well-being and future. [Grandmother often returns from walks to deal with a repeated, artificial crisis at home; all the while, her real concern was with problems in the narrator’s character, health, and future]

§15/16. Mother’s goodnight kisses; and M. Swann the dinner guest. [The narrator as a boy cherished the nightly ritual of his mother kissing him goodnight. Sometimes M. Swann would could for dinner, but normally without his wife, on account of their unfortunate marriage.]

§16/17. Grandfather's beautiful quote about M. Swann's father. [M. Swann’s father and Grandfather were friends. Father Swann’s habit of remembering his deceased wife often but only a little each time inspired Grandfather’s beautiful saying, “Often, but a little at a time, like poor old Swann.”]

§17/18. M. Swann belonged to high society. [M. Swann was a prominent member of important societies, even though the narrator’s family, who often hosted him for dinner, were completely unaware of this.]

§18/19-20. M. Swann’s high social status was not obvious. [M. Swann’s behavior never indicated his high social status, and the narrator’s family had no reason to think so anyway.]

§19/21. M. Swann entered the highest societies without giving any indication to the narrator’s family. [The narrator’s family did not know that M. Swann, after their dinner parties, would enter into the highest and most exclusive societies.]

§20/22. M. Swann conceals from the narrator’s family his dinner with a princess. [M. Swann once dinned with a princess, but he concealed this fact from the narrator’s family.]

§21/23. The narrator’s great-aunt accidentally treated M. Swann as a social equal. [The narrator’s great-aunt was so unaware of M. Swann’s high social status that she treated him as if he were of a lower status.]

Proust, Marcel. Du côté de chez swann. A la recherche du temps perdu. Tome I.
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Proust, Marcel. Swan’s Way. Vol. 1 of Remembrance of Things Past. Transl. C.K. Scott Moncrieff.
Available online at:


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