Over the years, people have asked me whether the main character of Remembrance of Things Past has a name. It is some forty years since I read it. I thought I read somewhere in the three volumes that the narrator says something along the lines of "If this character had a name, it would be Marcel." Am I remembering right, and if I am, where will I find it in the three volumes which I still have?

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This passage occurs in the fifth volume, on page 69.

The uncertainty of awakening revealed by her silence was not at all revealed in her eyes. As soon as she was able to speak she said: “My ——” or “My dearest ——” followed by my Christian name, which, if we give the narrator the same name as the author of this book, would be ‘My Marcel,’ or ‘My dearest Marcel.’

A similar reference is made later (in the same volume):

I felt a keen impulse of gratitude to Albertine, who, I could see, had not gone to the Trocadéro to meet Léa's friends, and shewed me, by leaving the performance and coming home at a word from myself, that she belonged to me more than I had imagined. My gratitude was even greater when a bicyclist brought me a line from her bidding me be patient, and full of the charming expressions that she was in the habit of using. "My darling, dear Marcel, I return less quickly than this cyclist, whose machine I would like to borrow in order to be with you sooner. How could you imagine that I might be angry or that I could enjoy anything better than to be with you? It will be nice to go out, just the two of us together; it would be nicer still if we never went out except together. The ideas you get into your head! What a Marcel! What a Marcel! Always and ever your Albertine."

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