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Swann's Way Paperback – February 14, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
Davis is a breath of fresh air, being more literal (while still literary!) in that she follows the original French syntax and meaning more closely. I liked her translation, and applaud it. Normally, such a fine translation would be my first choice. However - and I admit this is a very subjective judgement - I was long ago seduced by the sheer beauty of Moncrieff/Kilmartin, and therefore cannot love the Davis translation quite so much. Of all authors, Proust requires us to surrender to the beauty of his language. Davis' translation is, for me, more likeable than loveable.
Really, it's an old (and impossible to resolve!) conflict between the more literal and the more "poetic" type of translation. I've dealt with this myself, in trying to translate Baudelaire, and there's no perfect answer. One thing I'd suggest (if you haven't read MK) is to get the MK translation of Swann's Way, now available in a very inexpensive paperback, along with Davis so that you can get a feel for both ways of appreciating Proust's great and magnificent work.
Many are put off Proust by not understanding the structure of his work and his writing strategy. The book, to many, seems to have no point and no plot. The novel actually does have a plot, albeit a simple and not easy to discern one: Will the narrator (usually termed "Marcel") become a writer? Through seven long volumes, we watch Marcel variously resolve to write and then forsake his resolve, we see him even forget for enormous lengths of time his intent to write. Through love affairs, through events with his friends, through reflections on all matter of subjects and experiences of every kind, Marcel finally comes in the final volume to rediscover his vocation and the subject of his work.
This first volume in the series contains many of the most famous episodes in all of Proust. The famous passage in which the Narrator tells of his not being able to fall asleep as a child is found in the first pages. The most famous section in all of Proust, that of his eating as an adult a madeleine that first creates an inexplicable sense of joy and then engenders a plethora of involuntary memories of his childhood, is also found in this volume. The second half is the remarkable story of "Swann in Love," in which family friend Charles Swann falls in love, much to his surprise, with the courtesan Odette.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is very difficult to read. I have only read about 10 pages. Of course, it was free so I can't complain too much.Published 8 days ago by Gary Rulapaugh
Every year I try to hit at least one to two giant, heavy classics. I began 2016 right away with Swann's Way, book one of In Search of Lost Time, and it took me a little under a... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Garrett Zecker
Famous classic that provides insight into one persons' minute by minute experience, but tedious, boring and self absorbed as well as written in arcane language.Published 3 months ago by Robert S. Hoffman
I read this in the original while in uni, but now as I have grown older I decided to give it another goPublished 3 months ago by Margaret