Swann’s Way opens with the Narrator falling in and out of sleep in what Proust calls the whirlpool of awakening. He does not know where he is, who he is, or what he is. In Search of Lost Time, like many great literary works, is a quest. Who am I? What am I to make of this life?
To answer these questions and other important ones about the human condition, Proust worked on In Search of Lost Time for over fourteen years, writing more than a million and a half words and creating a gallery of unforgettable characters. His monumental novel encompasses many themes, love and jealousy, falling in love, the vain snobbery of high society, the continuum of human sexuality, the dangers of mistaking Eros for art, the stirrings of memory and the unstoppable nature of time. Yet, at its most fundamental, In Search of Lost Time is the story of one character, the Narrator, a man very much like Proust who sets off on an extraordinary journey to become the artist he’d always longed to be.