The incident that inspired Marcel to pen the masterpiece

I just Download In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust PDF The book was inspired by the childhood memories which came rushing into the author’s mind the moment he dipped a rusk in his tea. The unforgettable taste of the rusk seemed to transport him to the carefree, joyful days of childhood. The memories of the bygone era came vividly alive in his memory. Soon the idea of writing a book on his childhood days flashed in his mind.

Marcel’s marvelous magic begins

Past is always alive in our remembrances, more so because it has passed us by. Childhood memories are the best memories one has. Even an old person relives his childhood memories time and again. It is exactly the reason why grandparents bond well with their grandchildren.

The book recalls the past glory days of childhood. The book has been divided into 7 parts. The first volume is called Swann’s way. The second goes by the name In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower. The third volume is known as The Guermantes Way. The fourth volume carries the name Sodom and Gomorrah. The fifth volume, The Captive narrates the story further. The Sweet Cheat Gone and Time Regained complete the heptad.

The hiccups in publishing In search of Lost Time

The book was initially published in French. It has been converted to English and is now available in both the languages. Although the first volume was rejected on several occasions, it was published in 1913, the expense being borne by the writer himself. The second part was published about six years later. The third and the fourth part were brought out in 1919 and 1920 respectively. The remaining three parts were published posthumously in 1923, 1925 and 1927 respectively.

Childhood: The bygone era

Proust’s childhood was splendid and gay. He was born to Adrien Proust and Jeanne Weil. Adrine was a popular epidemiologist. Jeanne was the daughter of a stockbroker and carried forward a Jewish lineage. Though Marcel lived primarily in Paris, he spent his vacations in Illiers, a town where his uncle and aunt lived. The joyful, carefree days spent there became the mainstay of the spectacular novel he has penned. Marcel did not get the gift of good health as he was of a poor built since his birth. He also suffered from serious bouts of asthma since he was nine years old. But otherwise, his days were filled with happiness. His family was affectionate, and everyone loved him. His joyful upbringing shaped his pleasant demeanor.

The Chronicle of a child’s life begins

The story starts on a happy note with vivid descriptions of his childhood days. The narrator moves on to his years as a young adult when the magic of love manifests itself all around. He introduces the woman of his dreams, Gilberte Swann. She is the offspring of Charles Swann and Odette, a prostitute. Young Marcel falls madly in love with Gilberte. The torrid affair makes him see a lot of things in a new light. He sees folly and corruption in the name of the class. He sees a great façade being put up in the name of culture and tradition. He sees a paradox in the society where you find the evil rich and the kind-hearted poor. He sees people cheating their mates in the name of matrimony and people symbolizing true love in the sleaziest corners of the flesh market. He also feels that time and beauty fade away, and none can bring back the glory of the bygone era. But soon he realizes that he might be wrong on the last presumption. For after witnessing a post-war reception, he sees beauty is still there and time has not yet defeated him. Marcel again picks up the threads of his life and resumes the literary work which he had abandoned when he got disillusioned. He competes with death to complete his magnum opus just in the nick of time. He is snatched away by death a few days later.