13. Marcel Proust, Swannu2019s Way. Part 1. Combray -...

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Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way . Part 1. Combray -Steam-of-consciousness style What is this about: -An autobiographically inspired novel -Childhood -Memory Summary The narrator, who will eventually become known as Marcel, opens the novel by revealing, "For a long time I used to go to bed early." He relates how difficult it was for him to fall asleep as a young boy. The narrator himself then seems to fall asleep, imagining that he is the subject of the book he was just reading, then opening his eyes to discover that he really had fallen asleep and has just woken himself up into darkness. Marcel is not so afraid of the dark as he is of losing his sense of time. He marvels at sleep's ability to rob people of their individuality, making them forget who they are when they wake and forcing them to piece together the different components of their lives. Despite these "confused gusts of memory," the recurring nature of this confusion allows Marcel to get used to the dark surroundings and recall exactly where he fell asleep. The night, nevertheless, continues to set his memory in motion, and the narrator begins to recall the old days at Combray, Paris, Balbec, and Venice. Marcel recounts that whenever he visited his grandparents's house in the Northern French village of Combray, his bedroom, in which his insomnia would keep him up all night long, would make him melancholic. In order to make him feel better, the young Marcel is given a "magic lantern" which projects pictures from children's stories onto his bedroom walls. This device, however, only makes Marcel unable to recognize his room underneath the shifting colors, and he soon begins to fear bedtime more than before. His only solace is the goodnight kiss his mother gives him each night, even though he knows that his father disapproves of this ritual and that his mother secretly hopes that he will grow out of it. But Marcel comes to depend on these short but sweet kisses as though

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