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In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower: In Search of Lost Time, Vol. 2 (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) Paperback – January 25, 2005
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About the Author
Christopher Prendergast is professor emeritus of French at the University of Cambridge, and a fellow of King s College and the British Academy. He is the general editor of the Penguin translation of "In Search of Lost Time".
Top Customer Reviews
I am surprised by the general criticism aimed at the Moncrieff version, particularly given that the later revisions by Kilmartin and Enright remove Moncrieff's excesses and the result is one of the most successful translation projects in history. As well as the high general quality of the translations, they are also consistent across all of the volumes.Read more ›
With regard to previous translations, all I know is that this volume apparently used to be called In a Budding Grove - which may be the worst literary title ever - and is now called In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower, which may be the best literary title ever. As far as I can tell the translation flows very smoothly, too, and even though Proust's style, as most people probably know, features sentences which go on for a very long time and have complex constructions buried in them (sort of like this one), I thought it was more readable than the likes of Joyce and Pynchon, because the power of the first-person voice often makes the meaning clear. There were a couple of points where I thought the translator used a word that seemed too modern and idiomatic - 'hubby' was one - but it's not that much of a distraction.
Proust's habit is to spend a lot of time discussing small, specific things, but that isn't to say he describes every single event of his childhood in excruciating detail - he often skips over major events, or describes something's prelude in more detail than the event itself, summarizing the things which had the deepest emotional impact on him at the time. The result is a narrative which is very engaging because all of the details in it, however small they might be, shed light on something deeper.Read more ›
Overall, though, I like the liberties Grieves takes with the text, and we were certainly overdue for a freshened-up translation of one of the most important books of the 20th century. Unlike Proust's French, Scott Moncrieff's English has come to seem dusty and overblown. (For example, he rendered the title of this volume as "Within a Budding Grove", the literal translation being too racy for his 1920s audience of post-Victorians.)
-- Dan Ford at readingproust dot com
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Proust is considered a literary genius - and rightfully so. I was glad to read this translation; my high school French would never allow me to read the original! Read morePublished 8 months ago by CAROL CUSTER
I read Lydia Davis's Swann's Way 3 years ago. For a common, non-native anglophone reader like me, reading Proust was maybe over-ambitious, because everyone said I'd be out of my... Read morePublished 11 months ago by juneil balo
A new translation of a great work which I will compare to the original Montcrieff translation so can't render an opinion as yetPublished 14 months ago by Judith Goldner
Lydia Davis' translation of Swann's Way is tremendous. If you're hoping for the same with "Volume II", you might be disappointed. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Grabowski
This translation has come under some criticism for not being "true' to Proust and not as enjoyable or as good as the Lydia Davis translation of Swann's Way. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Leroy Sanford Gamma