Alain de Botton Presents an ASMR Reading of Proust’s Swann’s Way

Mar­cel Proust wrote Remem­brance of Things Past (À la recherche du temps per­du) over many years. The first vol­ume, Swan­n’s Way (Du côté de chez Swann), came out in 1913, and the last vol­ume, Time Regained (Le Temps retrou­vé), was pub­lished posthu­mous­ly in 1927. A mon­u­men­tal explo­ration of mem­o­ry, time, and human expe­ri­ence, the sev­en-vol­ume nov­el con­sists of 1,267,069 words. That dou­bles those in Tol­stoy’s War and Peace, mak­ing it one of the longest nov­els ever writ­ten.

Above, you can hear Alain de Bot­ton (author of How Proust Can Change Your Life) read the open­ing lines of Swan­n’s Way, with the goal of … well… putting you to sleep. His YouTube chan­nel writes: Proust’s nov­el “is very beau­ti­ful — and in a way a lit­tle bor­ing too. This is for all those among us who suf­fer from insom­nia — to send you into the best kind of sleep.” Make sure you add this 26-minute record­ing to your sleep/ASMR playlist. For de Bot­ton’s intro­duc­tion to the lit­er­ary phi­los­o­phy of Mar­cel Proust, watch this video here.

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Relat­ed Con­tent 

An Intro­duc­tion to the Lit­er­ary Phi­los­o­phy of Mar­cel Proust, Pre­sent­ed in a Mon­ty Python-Style Ani­ma­tion

Mar­cel Proust Fills Out a Ques­tion­naire in 1890: The Man­u­script of the ‘Proust Ques­tion­naire’

The First Known Footage of Mar­cel Proust Dis­cov­ered: Watch It Online

The Cork-Lined Bed­room & Writ­ing Room of Mar­cel Proust, the Orig­i­nal Mas­ter of Social Dis­tanc­ing

6,000 Let­ters by Mar­cel Proust to Be Dig­i­tized & Put Online

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.