The Swing in the Garden is the first of a projected series of twelve novels, a roman fleuve in the manner of Marcel Proust's Remembrance of Things Past. Proustian references recur, sometimes rather self-consciously. In the Goderich family, Sunday drives in the country alternate with trips to the docks. Matt is reminded of Proust's narrator and of his weekend choice of excursions from Combray along the Guermantes' path, or along the way to Swann's house. Proust's narrator discovered much later in life that the two ways united to form a single meaning…. (p. 99)
The handling of time is deceptively simple. The mind of the adult narrator, a sophisticated art-historian, is set...
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