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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:

Un Amour de Swann, part two of Du côté de chez Swann, is often published as a volume by itself. Because it forms the self-contained story of Charles Swann's love affair with Odette de Crécy and is relatively short, it is generally considered a good introduction to the work and is often a set text in French schools.

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