In the second volume of Proust's great novel, the narrator emerges as an actor in the drama of his own life, and as an avid explorer of new worlds social, sexual and artistic. Swann has now dwindled into a husband for his former mistress Odette, and their daughter Gilberte becomes the adolescent narrator's playmate and tantalising love-object. We move from Paris to the seaside town of Balbec, from ritualised social performances to midsummer spontaneity, and from Gilberte to her successor Albertine.
In Balbec, the narrator is befriended by the painter Elstir who introduces him both to the craft of painting and to the mysterious 'little band' of girls. An artistic education is thus intricately interwoven with a journey of sexual self-discovery. Download and start listening now!