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"Proust is reliably lucid and almost invariably kind....The almost hypnotic effect of Proust is to...demonstrate that an apparently self-absorbed individual may yet draw his strength and his insight from a passionate engagement with the interior and exterior lives of others, as well as his own. On him not much was lost." Christopher Hitchens, The Atlantic Monthly (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)
Synopses & Reviews
In her introduction to her magisterial new translation of Proust's Swann's Way, Lydia Davis states her goal: "I have attempted to stay as close to Proust's own style as possible, in its every aspect, without straying into an English that's too foreign or awkward." Without reading the original French, it's impossible to say how close she comes to Proust's style. But any reader of Davis's Swann's Way will be struck by how fresh, how funny, how lyrical, how affecting, and, yes, how readable her version is. I'm sure the original is just as good. Martin, Powells.com:
Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time is one of the most entertaining reading experiences in any language and arguably the finest single work of the twentieth century. Since the original prewar translation there has been no completely new rendering of the original French. Now Viking makes Proust's masterpiece accessible to a whole new generation, beginning with Lydia Davis's new translation of the first volume, Swann's Way.
Swann's Way is one of the preeminent novels of childhood-a sensitive boy's impressions of his family and neighbors, all brought dazzlingly back to life years later by the famous taste of a madeleine. It also enfolds the short novel Swann's Love, an incomparable study of sexual jealousy, which becomes a crucial part of the vast, unfolding structure of In Search of Lost Time. The first volume of the book that established Proust as one of the finest voices of the modern age-satirical, skeptical, confiding, and endlessly varied in his response to the human condition-Swann's Way also stands on its own as a perfect rendering of a life in art, of the past re-created through memory.
"What soars in this new version is the simplicity of language, and fidelity to the cambers of Proust's prose....Davis's translation is...magnificent, precise." Frank Wynne, Irish Times
"Reading Swann’s Way was a rapturous experience." David Denby
- Viking will publish volume II of In Search of Lost Time, In the Shadow of the Young Girls in Flower, in 2004
Marcel Prousts In Search of Lost Time is one of the most entertaining reading experiences in any language and arguably the finest novel of the twentieth century. But since its original prewar translation there has been no completely new version in English. Now, Penguin Classics brings Prousts masterpiece to new audiences throughout the world, beginning with Lydia Daviss internationally acclaimed translation of the first volume, Swanns Way.
Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time is one of the most entertaining reading experiences in any language and arguably the finest novel of the twentieth century. But since its original prewar translation there has been no completely new version in English. Now, Penguin Classics brings Proust’s masterpiece to new audiences throughout the world, beginning with Lydia Davis’s internationally acclaimed translation of the first volume, Swann’s Way.
@RaidersOfTheLostTime I can’t wait for Mom to tuck me in. Perhaps I’m too old for this, but then I see light in the hall as she approaches and think, Nah!
My father wants me to stop behaving like such a little momma’s boy in front of the guests, but what does he know?
Aunt is such a big part of life. She’s also a big pain in the derrière. But ohhh, those snack-cakes make me so HOT.
From Twitterature: The World's Greatest Books in Twenty Tweets or Less
About the Author
Marcel Proust was born in Auteuil in 1871. His father, an eminent Professor of Medicine, was Roman Catholic and his mother was Jewish, factors that were to play an important role in his life and work. He was a brilliant, very literary schoolboy, and later a half-hearted student of law and political science. In his twenties he became an assiduous society figure, frequenting the most fashionable Paris salons of the day. During this period he published a volume of sketches and stories, Les Plaisirs et le jours, and between 1895 and 1900 wrote a novel, Jean Santeuil, which was in many ways a first draft for his masterpiece À la recherche du temps perdu.
After 1899 his chronic asthma, the death of his parents and his growing impatience with society caused him to lead an increasingly retired life. In the early 1900s he produced celebrated literary pastiches and translations of Ruskin, The Bible of Amiens and Sesame and Lilies and it was during this period that he wrote Contre Sainte-Beuve, although it was not published until 1954. From 1907, he rarely emerged from a sound-proofed room in his apartment on the Boulevard Hausmann in Paris, in order to insulate himself against the distractions of city life as well as the effect of the trees and flowers which he loved but which brought on his attacks of asthma. He slept by day and worked by night, writing letters and devoting himself to the completion of À la recherche du temps perdu. He died in 1922 before the publication of the last three books of his great work. With À la recherche du temps perdu Proust attempted the perfect rendering of life in art, of the past recreated through memory. It is both a portrait of the artist and a discovery of the aesthetic by which the portrait is painted, and it was to have an immense influence on the literature of the twentieth century.
Table of Contents
Swann's Way Introduction
A Note on the Translation
Suggestions for Further Reading
Part I: Combray
Part II: Swann in Love
Part III:Place-Names: The Name
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