In our last meeting, as those who attended will recall, Nathalie D.-S. mentioned that in French there is a certain ambiguity about the title of the chapter that was the subject of our discussion.
Un amour de Swann, Nathalie explained, can either mean "Lovable Swann" or "A love of Swann's". Both meanings work. And considering the complexities of Swann's affair with Odette, both are more suggestive than the unidirectional "Swann in Love."
Jennifer V. has now written to ask another question for our French readers to answer. Her question:
Is the title of this first volume, "Swann's Way", also ambiguous in French? In English we can read Swann's way either as "Swann's path" or... his "way" as in his approach to life. Is the same true in French when you read Du côté de chez Swann? Or is there some other inflection that we are missing in translation?