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Relax: it's fantastic. There's no question that Davis's American English is thinner and more literal than C.K. Scott Montcrieff's archaically inflected turns of phrase and idioms, at least as revised by Terence Kilmartin and later by D.J. Enright. The removal of some of the familiar layers of the past in this all-new translation gives one a feeling similar to that of encountering an old master painting that has just been cleaned: the colors seem sharper and momentarily disorienting. Yet many readers will find it exhilarating, allowing the text to shed slight airs that were not quite Proust's and making many of the jokes much more immediate (as when he implies that sense-organ atrophy in the bourgeois is a defense mechanism and the result of hardening unarticulated feelings). As accomplished translator and novelist Davis (The End of the Story) notes in her foreword, she has followed Proust's sentence structure as closely as possible "in its every aspect," including punctuation, word order and word choice. To take just one case, where Montcrieff/Kilmartin describe Mlle. Vinteuil finding it pleasant to metaphorically "sojourn" in sadism, Davis has the much more definitive "emigrate." Proust's psychological inquiry generally feels much sharper, giving a much more palpable sense of Freud and Bergson-and of the young Marcel's willful (if not malefic) manipulations of those around him. For first-timers who don't have French and are allergic to the slightest whiff of euphemism, this is the best means for traveling the way by Swann's.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Marcel Proust (1871-1922) is now generally viewed as the greatest French novelist and perhaps the greatest European novelist of the 20th century. He lived much of his later life as a reclusive semi-invalid in a sound-proofed flat in Paris and giving himself over entirely to writing IN SEARCH OF LOST --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I can see why this represents a significant change in literature and why Harold Bloom considers him significant but reading it now leaves me with a meh sort of feeling. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I must say that I had alot of trepidation about reading this book because of its reputation of being difficult. Read morePublished on September 30, 2010 by whj
This is not the recent translation by Lydia Davis - this is exactly the same edition/translation as the Moncrieff/Kilmartin, but Amazon put the Lydia Davis cover on the item. Read morePublished on December 18, 2009 by Dennis Poggenburg
In ordering a copy of Proust's Swann's Way, the formal order form stated that it would be start to be filled (not mailed) anywhere up to 21 days. Read morePublished on September 27, 2009 by M. Kolb
Lydia Davis's translation of Swann's Way is a great addition to the language. That's not the issue, though. Read morePublished on September 13, 2009 by CDB
Clearly, Proust has a remarkable gift for perception, as if he is able to see human experience, circumstance, and even plain objects, in exploded detail, and distill them for the... Read morePublished on January 24, 2007 by Chocolate Moose
I have been planning for some years to read IN SEARCH OF LOST TIME, and finally started in March with Lydia Davis' translation of SWANN'S WAY. Read morePublished on June 20, 2006 by KH1
Although Proust was most obviously indulging himself when he wrote this book, he was also brilliant. If the book doesn't speak to you, so be it. Read morePublished on January 27, 2006 by Hanna Moy
To read Marcel Proust's "Remembrance of Things Past" is a pleasure and a challenge in the same proportion that any brave read can have. Read morePublished on January 2, 2006 by A. T. A. Oliveira