In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust is difficult to summarize. The plot, narrated by the suspiciously named M, flows the way dreams flow across over four thousand pages in seven volumes. Written and serialized between 1909 and 1922, this novel is succinctly French and, after a thousand pages or so, you begin to feel French as well. Read More.
Also written in the divide between the 1910s and 1920s, Ulysses is in many ways a mirror image of In Search of Lost Time, its equal and opposite. Instead of exploring the whole life of its unnamed narrator, Ulysses chronicles a single day in the lives of the Irishmen Leopold Bloom and Stephan Dedalus as they journey through Dublin, but it explores similar topics of belonging, infidelity, memory, and how perspective changes over time. Instead of the literal mother and son relationship at the heart of In Search of Lost Time, Ulysses focuses on figurative fathers and sons. Read More.