'I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid, and the crumbs with it, touched my palate than a shudder ran through my whole body…’
Published in 1913, Swann's Way is the first of the seven parts of Proust's masterpiece, Remembrance of Things Past, one of the major achievements of twentieth-century literature. The narrator discovers that an involuntary memory triggered by some casual action – say, eating a madeleine cake– has the power to recover large areas of the past; and he sets out to resurrect his past life and the people and places that most affected him.
Proust paints an unforgettable, scathing, and, at times, comic portrait of French society at the close of the19th century, and reveals a profound vision of obsessive love.