Swann in Love
‘Swann’s love … could not have been torn out of him without destroying him almost entirely’
Swann in Love is a brilliant, devastating novella that tells of infatuation, love, and jealousy. Set against the backdrop of Paris at the end of the nineteenth century, the story of Charles Swann illuminates the fragilities and foibles of human beings when in the grip of desire. Swann is a highly cultured man-about-town who is plunged into turmoil when he falls for a young woman called Odette de Crécy. The novel traces the progress of Swann’s emotions with penetrating exactitude as he encounters Odette at the regular gatherings in the salon of the Verdurins. His wilful self-delusion is both poignant and ridiculous, and his tormented feelings play out in scenes of high comedy amongst Odette’s socially pretentious circle.
Swann in Love is part of Proust’s monumental masterpiece In Search of Lost Time, and it is also a captivating self-contained story. This new translation encapsulates the qualities that have secured Proust’s reputation, and serves as a perfect introduction to his writing.
- Oxford University Press
- Published in Print:
- May 2009
- Published online:
- May 2023
Translation © Brian Nelson 2017Editorial material © Adam Watt 2017