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Swann's Way Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 11, 2003
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Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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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
*Never* buy anything from "joannabond.co.uk" without inspecting it first. The "book" is a Xeroxed copy of an out-of-copying right book, which 1) actually shows the... Read morePublished 24 days ago by Amazon Customer
Definitely unlike anything I've ever read before. My brain was challenged.Published 26 days ago by Amazon Customer
wish I hadn't waited so long to experience Proust, for now having read "Swann's Way," I see that his deeply sensitive prose is a reference point for almost all of the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Donna Frtu
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 2 months ago by Gary Rulapaugh