finally finishing Swann's Way is very strange. I have been reading this book in a stop-start way for nearly 2 years now, restarting once, stopping for a long period around November/December due to Swann's infatuated state being uncomfortably close to my own and the prospect of a descent into the obsessive jealousy he demonstrates being exceedingly upsetting.
overall, I feel like I have an analagous relationship to this book as the narrator has to Balbec, Florence, and Venice in the final part of the book - that is to say, the thought of reading Swann's Way, the name Swann's Way became things unto themselves, the idea of the book hung over my reading life like a thick fog of long sentences, and as such I was unable to really appreciate the book on the level of the sensual and granular - reading the last pages at nearly 5:30 in the morning I was eager to finish, but also nervously rereading even those sentences I understood, in an attempt to make up for all those I had not fully parsed but continued from nevertheless. The prose is stunning, but it takes work to appreciate.
I am looking forward to reading the second volume of In Search of Lost Time, In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower - after an appropriate break. I am reassessing my desire to finish the first three volumes this year; I think it is possible but perhaps not really that desirable. I want to savour the text more, I want to really, properly read this next volume.
Either way, I can see the greatness of Proust's work here. Thematically and prosaically, this is an incedible book, and I strongly recommend it to all. I may add more to this page in future.