À la recherche du temps perdu
À la recherche du temps perdu is a French novel, or sequence of novels by Marcel Proust. It is considered to be part of the Western canon. The title translates roughly as In Search of Lost Time. A new translation announced in the late 1990s uses this title; previous English translations have gone by Remembrance of Things Past.
The original work was published in several volumes between 1913 and 1927. Rather than recount a clear sequence of events, the novel focuses on the narrator's memories: his recollections and the connections between them.
Early in the first volume, the narrator experiences a clear flash of memory from his childhood as he tastes a madeleine (a type of small sponge cake) dipped in tea. This is probably the novel's best-known scene.
À la recherche du temps perdu consists of 7 volumes, although different editions split the work in different ways:
- Du côté de chez Swann (1913)
- À l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs (1919, awarded the 1919 Prix Goncourt).
- Le côté de Guermantes (1922)
- Sodome et Gomorrhe (1922)
- La prisonnière (1923)
- La fugitive (1925, published as Albertine disparue because another book with a similar title was published around the same time)
- Le temps retrouvé (1927)