Third Tuesday of Every Month Tuesdays, 5:00 pm EDT - 6:30 pm EDT September 20, 2022 to August 15, 2023
Online via Zoom
This reading group has reached its capacity. To join the waitlist, please email Erich Slimak at email@example.com.
This reading group is limited to readers who have read the entirety of In Search of Lost Time.
“An open book is time regained,” wrote Bernard de Fallois, a legendary French editor and Proustian who, upon dying in 2018, released a trove of previously unpublished Proust stories and caused an earthquake in the field. Marcel Proust, beginning with Swann’s Way (the first of his seven volumes), points the way to the sensual and mysterious nature of time. Time is evanescent, and yet may, at any moment, loop back around itself. Swann’s Way is the foundation of the cycle of time, and perhaps its secret, golden thread. Both an inquiry and a celebration of the labyrinth of youth and the accidents of desire, Swann’s Way tells us how, against all odds, time is a gift if we know to become its lover. While the first twelve sessions will focus primarily on Swann’s Way, it is anticipated that this reading group will expand for an additional three years, during which the entirety of In Search of Lost Time will be read closely.
Students will actively discuss the first volume over the course of 12 sessions within a single year. Roughly fifty pages will be discussed per live session, paying particular attention to narrative texture, intent, and tenor.
Please note that this advanced class aims to expand into a three to four-year course spanning the whole work sequentially. The class, in its beginnings and entirety, will allow participants to fully experience the essence of the Proustian: from the sensorial, and quietly cataclysmic, experience of the madeleine to the epiphany of the loose paving stone and the great, final ball of the Guermantes. We will also delve into each extraordinary character (biographical or not): the narrator himself, Swann, Odette, Saint-Loup, Madame Verdurin, and many others whose affect and vision deeply influenced our perception of modern sensibility. We will examine the acumen with which Proust describes the fracturing of the French social structure in response to the Dreyfus Affair, as well as his groundbreaking exploration of the versatile, at times perverse, nature of love.
Students are encouraged to use Moncrieff’s translation for ease and consistency within the group.
Lila Azam Zanganeh
Lila Azam Zanganeh
Lila Azam Zanganeh was born in Paris to Iranian parents. After studying literature and philosophy at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, she moved to the United States to teach literature and cinema at Harvard University. She has contributed criticism, interviews and essays to a host of publications including the New York Times, the New Yorker, Le Monde, La Repubblica, and the Paris Review. Her first book, The Enchanter: Nabokov and Happiness, was the recipient of the 2011 Roger Shattuck Prize and was published worldwide in thirteen languages. Lila serves as a Director on the Board of Trustees for the Vladimir Nabokov Literary Foundation and as a member of the Advisory Board of Libraries Without Border. She has also served as a judge for the Man Booker Prize and the PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature. Her forthcoming novel, Exit Paradise, will be published in 2023.
About this series
Whether you’re looking to catch up on great novels or you’re interested in exploring a new writer or literary period, our reading groups offer high-level literary discussion led by experts in the field.
Don Quixote with Kannan Mahadevan
Once a week Thursdays, 6:30 pm EDT - 8:00 pm EDT September 15 to November 3, 2022
Revisionist Genre with Donna Raskin
4 Monthly Sessions Fridays, 7:00 pm EDT - 8:30 pm EDT September 16 to December 9, 2022
Beyond the Tropes: Latinx Terror with Marc L. Abbott$180
Sundays, 1:00 pm EDT - 2:30 pm EDT September 18 to December 18, 2022
Members Only: The LiterariansFree
Wednesday, 12:30 pm EDT - 1:30 pm EDT September 21, 2022
The Novels of Charles Dickens with Amanda Hollander
4 Sessions Thursdays, 6:00 pm EDT - 7:30 pm EDT September 22 to December 22, 2022
Reading the Russians with Sheila Kohler
6 Sessions Mondays, 6:00 pm EDT - 7:30 pm EDT September 26, 2022 to January 9, 2023
The Novels of Yoko Tawada with Miriam Tuliao
4 Monthly Sessions Mondays, 6:30 pm EDT - 8:00 pm EDT September 26 to December 19, 2022
Belief and Doubt: The Novels of Graham Greene (and One by John le Carré) with Dennis Krieger
5 Sessions Thursdays, 7:00 pm EDT - 8:30 pm EDT September 29, 2022 to January 26, 2023
Born Freaks: A Katherine Dunn Reading Group with Naomi Huffman (Featuring Special Guests!)
3 Sessions Tuesdays, 6:30 pm EDT - 8:00 pm EDT October 4 to November 8, 2022
The Wings of the Dove: A Henry James Reading Group with Sheridan Hay
Once a week Thursdays, 6:00 pm EDT - 7:30 pm EDT October 6 to October 27, 2022
The Other Side of the Coin: Dystopia and Utopia in Short Fiction with Jacqueline Ahl$90
Thursdays, 7:00 pm EDT - 8:30 pm EDT October 13 to November 10, 2022
Italo Calvino and the Natural World with Antonio Romani
Once a week Saturdays, 12:00 pm EDT - 1:30 pm EDT October 15 to November 19, 2022
The Great Fire: A Shirley Hazzard Reading Group with Sheridan Hay
Once a week Tuesdays, 6:00 pm EDT - 7:30 pm EDT November 8 to November 29, 2022