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Remembrance of Things Past, Vol. 1 Paperback – September 10, 2006

3.6 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A beautiful, atmospheric, and nostalgic work, Swann's Way is highly recommended for literary connoisseurs and public library audiobook collections. - --Library Bookwatch

And so it begins, it all begins yet again: Marcel Proust's inimitable and magnificent Remembrance of Things Past, probably the greatest of literary works of all time. Neville Jason has taken on the titanic task of reading the whole unabridged seven volumes for Naxos AudioBooks in a new and updated translation which simply means that no other reader can get close to him in his subtle and unique understanding of Proust. Swann's Way is perhaps the most fondly nostalgic of the seven novels and the inimitable descriptions of Marcel's youth are almost unbearable in their fantastic attention to detail. The village of Combray where the family holidayed is also a fantastic recreation of a past which is now gone and which will simply never return. Jason's reading is assured and full of style and a classic poise which makes him the ideal Proust reader. One waits with trepidation and eager anticipation for the next volume in this wonderful series. --Gerald Fenech, Malta News Online

As regular readers of Kirkville probably know, I'm a fan of Marcel Proust. I recently started re-reading A la recherche du temps perdu, but was sidetracked by moving house. Some time ago, I listened to the entire work, on a French audio recording. But not all Proustians are French speakers. Proust actually has quite a following in the US and England, and his popularity is such that Naxos AudioBooks has recently released the first part of a complete, unabridged recording of Remembrance of Things Past (also known as In Search of Lost Time). The narrator, Neville Jason, has one of those smooth, soft English accents that lulls and entrances you. His reading is leisurely and relaxed. He takes his time, allowing you to absorb the work comfortably, without speaking too slowly, as is sometimes the case on older audiobook readings. Jason's reading is a performance, but it also sounds like he's sitting by your side, reading from the book, like a friend. In addition, his French accent is quite good, and when he speaks the names of French people or towns, it sounds as it should. Swann s Way is more than 21 hours long, and is only the first of seven volumes of Remembrance of Things Past. Naxos AudioBooks will be releasing each volume individually, and will most likely offer a box set with the entire text - which will be more than 120 hours - when all the titles have been released. If you want to listen to Proust, and don't speak French, Neville Jason's recordings are excellent. For now, this is the only complete recording in the works. Simon Vance, who is also another wonderful narrator, has recorded Swann's Way, but it doesn t look like this will be a complete recording of all seven volumes of Remembrance of Things Past, as this recording was released in September, 2010, and no follow-up has yet been released. --Kirk McElhearn, Kirkville

Naxos, the renowned producer of classical music recordings, is publishing a complete and unabridged recording of Marcel Proust's epic work, Remembrance of Things Past (À la Recherche du Temps Perdu). The reader is Neville Jason, who the Washington Post called 'the marathon man' after his 70 hour recording of Tolstoy's War and Peace. Jason is well equipped to read this even longer work by Proust, having received the Sir John Gielgud prize for fiction while he was at RADA and having then gone on to perform with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Old Vic Company. Indeed, while reading an earlier abridged version of Proust, he did the abridgement himself and also translated the final volume (see article in AudioFile Magazine). The first volume al --Tom Cunliffe, A Common Reader

All seven volumes of Remembrance of Things Past, of which this is the first, represent a staggering recording feat: 150 hours of unabridged Proust read by 78-year-old Neville Jason. To Proust writing was like making jellied beef: every shred of his memory was used. Jason calls Proust's work his 'magic cord', woven to be launched into future time. For us Jason's voice is the magic cord that draws us inexorably in. --Rachel Redford, The Oldie --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Marcel Proust (1871 1922) was a French novelist, essayist, and critic, most famous for his autobiographical series of novels, In Search of Lost Time.

Tom Griffith has also translated Plato's The Republic, Symposium, Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo, and Phaedrus.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1360 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions; 1st Edition English edition (September 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840221461
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840221466
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 2.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #470,857 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I am a great admirer of the Kindle device, having bought both v. 1 and v.2 immediately upon their introduction.

Unfortunately, though the device may earn 5 stars, Amazon's book marketing doesn't rate 1 star -- especially with regard to translated and out-of-copyright classics.

This book is a case in point. If one goes to the (hardcopy) book page in Amazon for the superb Lydia Davis translation, v. 1 in the Penguin series, one is offered a one-click link implying that the book can be ordered instantly for one's Kindle. Try it, though, and you'll find (as noted by the earlier reviewer) that you get not the Davis Penguin version, but rather a very different translation.

This is simply dishonest, and beneath Amazon. Amazon would never dream of sending to a hardcopy shopper ordering the Davis translation the one that is offered via Kindle. Why, then, try to fob off something like this to Kindle shoppers as though it were the Davis translation?

Readers are not stupid, and these types of shenannigans are no way to develop Kindle reader loyalty.

This needs to stop, now.
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Format: Kindle Edition
If you want to read Swann's Way and don't have the actual book, then DO NOT bother with *THIS* Kindle edition (the freebie). Instead, you might as well "splurge" on a $0.99 professionally created edition so that you'll get to read the real thing.

1) All accented letters are converted as question marks.
2) Indented text such as block quotes or lines of poetry were entirely dropped. Without the real book to compare, the blanks would've been inexplicable, annoying gaps in the narrative.

That's enough to make this freebie worth less than i paid for it.

I do find this edition useful as a companion to the actual book.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is the public-domain C K Scott Moncrieff translation from the 1920s. You can get it without cost from the Gutenberg Project. By no means should you pay money for it.

Far better you get the paperback of the Penguin edition translated by Lydia Davis: Swann's Way: In Search of Lost Time, Vol. 1 (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition). Alternately, go for the much-improved Enright edition of the Scott Moncrieff translation: In Search of Lost Time: Volume 1, Swann's Way (Modern Library Classics) (v. 1). More about all this at ReadingProust dot com -- Dan Ford
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Format: Kindle Edition
It's completely false advertizing for you to sell the Davis translation and then make people download the much older Montcrief translation. Get it together Amazon!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have always wanted to read the entire unabridged 7 volumes of Proust "Remembrance of Things Past" (or "In Search of Lost Time" per other translations) but I just don't have the time to undertake that amount of reading with my schedule. I do drive a good bit and also try to get out to walk - so I have been listening to some of the great novels that I have wanted to get to. This new release of the unabridged reading of volume 1 (Swann's Way) comes just at the right time in my life. I considered getting the 39 CD abridged version which Neville Jason read previously. I listened to some of it through a library loan. He's a beautiful reader of Proust. I decided to be brave and buy this new unabridged series and I'm so glad I did. This masterpiece is an amazing journey for someone who really loves classics, philosophy, history, art, psychology. Proust's detailed descriptions can really trigger personal memories and transport his reader into incredibly rich, detailed unconscious memories of their own lives. Jason's abridged version is quite well received but, as good as it is, like most abridged books, it pales in comparison to the full work. This unabridged version is read in a noticeably older voice -- which only adds to the richness of this semi-fictionalized memoir. I have every intention of completing the entire series as it is released through 2012. I also bought the little book ($10) of "Marcel Proust's Search for Lost Time: A Reader's Guide to the The Remembrances of Things Past" by Patrick Alexander. It provides brief overviews of the volumes narratives, themes and various versions. It also gives background info on historical events, places/maps, reference notes on 50 main characters, family trees, info and pics of Proust and his family. I highly recommend this to anyone interested in taking on 1 of the greatest literary masterpieces ever written but who doesn't have the time/energy to sit down and read a million and a half word novel.
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Format: Paperback
This is the first volume in a two volume set that contains the entire REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST, unabridged. It's from the U.K., which is why you don't see it for sale much in the U.S. (You can get it no problem on Amazon's U.K. site, though: use ISBN-10: 1840221461 or ISBN-13: 978-1840221466 to find it.)

It's much cheaper than those silver ones that you do see, published by Vintage.

But there's something you should know about the translation. This is the translation by C. K. Scott-Moncrieff and Stephen Hudson (the latter completing the job after the former croaked midway through it). This translation was later reworked by Terence Kilmartin to the approval of many (which translation was in turn reworked by D. J. Enright). That is the translation offered in those silver ones you see everywhere, but IS NOT THE TRANSLATION YOU'RE GETTING HERE from the Wordsworth Editions. This is just the unreworked 1922-1930 job.

It doesn't offer any footnotes or anything else like that.

The entire thing is also available in one volume in French from Amazon here: A LA Recherche Du Temps Perdu (French Edition)
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