I am only at the early stages of the work, yet it has sparked many new ideas for me.
Before Julia asked me to read the book, I did consider reading http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Search_of_Lost_Time It wasn't the probability of home-erotic themes which put me off, the thing which put me off was the length of the story as it is far greater than anything I had read previously. I will admit to finding the constant theme of homosexuality unnerving, but I am not judging M. Proust, as he led his life the way he wished and that is to be praised.
Reading the book is proving a great joy, it is constantly getting me to research new (to me) writers, many I heard of but never thought of reading.
The book is very informative in that it points out certain links, which may not have been known, such as at the first meeting between Marcel and Andre' Gide, the publicist was not over-keen on the writer and this led him to block the publication of "Swann's Way" an error which he didn't forgive himself for making.
Years later, after "Swann's Way" had made Marcel's name, he came under attack by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Paul_Sartre for gaining a higher reputation than the person regarded as an icon to Sartre's generation of writers.
Another aspect of the book is the vast number of people that Marcel mixed with who were to be come famous, Bizet, Flaubert, Dumas, Wilde and Sarah Berhardt to mention but a few. This had me thinking, who would I class as today's iconic people and why?
I said at the beginning that the length of the writing not the theme put me off, yesterday on Facebook there was a contest for a £50 book token for a chain store, to enter we had to say what we would get with the money. Naturally, a lot of Harry Potter and Dr. Who votes came in, my choices included the work of Marcel and the biography of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_Colvin who died two years ago. I would also like to trace some old books I had years ago and lost track of, one such book is set in WW2 and features a priest who is made to carry a cross up a hill by the Germans, so, they will permit him to preach.