This project – like many, I suspect – is born of mild frustration.

Although I prefer to read French literature in French, the complicated structures of Proust’s language left me feeling I’d missed too much. Then I tried reading the French and English side by side. This approach disappointed because I didn’t find a translation that offered what moved me most in Proust’s writing – the flowing, lulling rhythm that transports me through his mindscape. I wanted to capture some portion of that quality in English.

The “one paragraph per week” concept is meant to provide structure and accountability as I proceed through Swann’s Way. It also can help you avoid getting discouraged by the challenges of reading Proust, whose work I’ve seen called the bane of bookclubs, with readers dropping out before finishing even the first volume of In Search of Lost Time.

Some weeks, I may deviate from from the single paragraph. A Proust paragraph can be three pages long. Or just a single sentence. So the project could more aptly be called “Approximately a paragraph of Proust, delivered once a week,” and I’ve subtitled the blog to reflect this nuance.

Thank you for reading.

Angela Arcese

February 18, 2022