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Reading Groups

Proust I with Damion Searls – Spring Term


Spring Term - 5 sessions

Out of stock

Once a month Thursdays, 7:00 pm EDT - 8:30 pm EDT February 20 to June 25, 2020

This reading group will take place online via Zoom.

Spring Dates
2/20, 3/26 4/30, 5/21, 6/25

Join others at The Center for Fiction for the great pleasure of reading Remembrance of Things Past, a.k.a. In Search of Lost Time. This group is designed for first-time readers of Proust, or anyone who got stuck in the middle — it is open to those who have read it before, but no spoilers! This group will stick to discussing the text only and leave outside historical or literary research for another time. This is a group for readers; Proust’s book may be monumental but it’s also just a novel, meant to be read and enjoyed and chatted about, with the author giving us all the information we need. To finish it in ten months, we will have to read about the length of a normal-size novel every month: around 200 pp at first, with 400-450 pp in some later months. There is no secondary reading and no other homework. The aim of the group is simply to invite readers to get carried away by the novel’s beauty, surprising characters, and psychological wisdom.

Please read the three-volume black-and-silver edition from 1981, translated by C.K. Scott-Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin.

  • September: Swann’s Way – Combray. Volume I, pages 1-204
  • October: Swann’s Way – Swann in Love, Place-Names: The Name.  Volume I, pp. 205-462.
  • November:  Within a Budding Grove – Madame Swann at Home. Volume I, pp. 463-690.
  • December: Within a Budding Grove – Place-Names: the Place. Volume I, pp. 691-1018.
  • January:  The Guermantes Way – Chapter One. Volume II, pp. 1-357.
  • February: The Guermantes Way Chapter Two to Cities of the Plain, Part II, ch. 1. Volume II, pp. 358-778.
  • March: Cities of the Plain, “Intermittencies” to end. Volume II, pp. 778-1169
  • April: The Captive. Volume III, pp. 1-422.
  • May: The Fugitive – first third of Time Regained. Volume III, pp. 423-885.
  • June: Time Regained, to the end. Volume III, pp, 885-1107.

Please note that we only grant refunds requested one week prior to the first meeting.

Marcel Proust

Taught by

  • Damion Searls

    Damion Searls

    Damion Searls

    Damion Searls ran the Proust I reading group at the Center for Fiction in 2011-12. He has translated forty books from French, German, Norwegian, and Dutch, including one by Proust (a short one!) and many by his classic modern contemporaries, including Rilke, Gide, Nescio, and Hermann Hesse. He is the author of essays, a book of short stories, a history of the Rorschach Test, and a forthcoming book on the philosophy of translation.