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Remembrance of Things Past

by Marcel Proust

Remembrance of Things Pastis a novel in seven volumes, written by Marcel Proust. It is considered to be his most prominent work, known both for its length and its theme of involuntary memory, the most famous example being the "episode of the madeleine" which occurs early in the first volume. The voluminous novel follows the narrator's recollections of childhood and experiences into adulthood during late 19th century to early 20th century aristocratic France, while reflecting on the loss of time and lack of meaning to the world.

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Recommendations: 1

Categories: ClassicsLiterature & FictionPhilosophy

Reading time: 112123 hours


Tyler Cowen
Economist and Professor

Reading fiction is important to understand the cross-sectional variation in humanity, to understand how difficult generalizations can be, to just get a sense of how social pieces fit together, and to get a sense of different historical errors. Plus reading fiction is often just plain, flat-out fun. So, I think my fiction read I found the most rewarding was Marcel Proust Remembrance of Things Past, which comes in multiple volumes. It’s a very long read. I’d say about a third of it is quite boring, but the peaks are just amazing, and it’s also hilarious. It’s about how inner monologues work and why expectation matters and what disappointment feels like and what is jealousy like and what’s it mean to be a kind of total failure in a social world or to climb and reach higher levels of status. So I think that’s just a thrilling, remarkable set of volumes.