Marcel Proust was a French novelist, critic, and essayist best known for his monumental Remembrance of Things Past. Swann's Way is the first volume in this great work of literature and powerful novel in it's own right. Graham Greene called Proust the "greatest novelist of the 20th century", and W. Somerset Maugham called the novel the "greatest fiction to date". The novel had great influence on twentieth-century literature; some writers have sought to emulate it, others to parody it. The novel recounts the experiences of the Narrator while growing up, participating in society, falling in love, and learning about art. The Narrator begins by noting, “For a long time, I went to bed early.” He comments on the way sleep seems to alter one’s surroundings, and the way Habit makes one indifferent to them. He discovers how appearances conceal the true nature of things, and tries writing a description of some nearby steeples. Lying in bed, he seems transported back to these places until he awakens.
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