Sidharth Vardhan

A Thing of Beauty – a review of ‘Swann’s way’

(A review of The Swann’s Way’, Part 1 of ‘In Search of Lost Time’a novel by Marcel Proust ) As a habitual reader, you probably have had at least one friend who will tell you that he/she sees no point in reading all those books. You might have struggled trying to explain to this friend the delights of reading – may be you had lectured him/her on how a particular book is incredible, enlightened him/ her about all the things that make it marvelous – only to discover that you can’t get the person excited. At the time we may judge such person for lack of imagination, but with time we realize that our explanations were not perfect. That is problem with beauty – no matter how analytical and detailed we get, something remains behind – we can’t describe what makes it beautiful to us; can’t capture it into words. And so, how will one describe the beauty of Proust’s prose, especially when there is not much of the story? One might say that his descriptions – of flowers, places roads, clothes, music, paintings, emotions, trees, servants etc. are beautiful; he captures emotions or experiences – even momentary, fleeing ones

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