In Search of Lost Time or Remembrance of Things Past (French: A la recherche du temps perdu) is a novel in seven volumes by Marcel Proust. His most prominent work, it is known both for its length and its theme of involuntary memory, the most famous example being the "episode of the madeleine." Running to nearly 1.5 million words, it is the longest novel in world literature. This is Volume I. Valentin Louis Georges Eugene Marcel Proust (10 July 1871 ? 18 November 1922) was a French novelist, critic, and essayist best known for his monumental A la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time; earlier translated as Remembrance of Things Past). It was published in seven parts between 1913 and 1927.