Which English translation of À la recherche du temps perdu?

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Which English translation of À la recherche du temps perdu?

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1chrisharpe
Juil 24, 2007, 5:51pm

I wonder if anyone can comment on the relative merits of the two English translations of À la recherche du temps perdu? There's the older Scott-Moncrieff/Kilmartin/Enright translation and the newer Prendergast et al. I have only read the first volume in the earlier translation and would like to tackle the remainign volumes soon, but am not sure which to go for. I do read French, but quite slowly and not fluently enough to pick up the nuances of translation. The more recent translation has been both praised and slated in various media. Any comments would be gratefully received. Many thanks!

2dperrings
Juil 24, 2007, 7:51pm

Chris,

Thanks for joining the group.

as for translations hopefully another member with add some valuable input.

david perrings

3bookgrl
Août 1, 2007, 1:23am

I'd also like to know as well since the reason why I haven't gone past the first volume is because of this.

The new Penguin editions (new translations) are a little more expensive than the older ones. Was wondering whether one could mix up the translations (for each volume - Vol.1 = new, Vol.2 = not etc) or whether this will be too confusing or make an impact on my reading of it?

Thank you.

4chrisharpe
Modifié : Août 1, 2007, 7:16am

Hello bookgrl. That is just what I will do, reading volume by volume, unless anyone recommends another approach. I read the first volume in the earlier translation and to my non-specialist taste it read beautifully (though perhaps incorrectly?). Figuring that "if it aint broke, don't fix it", I already ordered the second volume in the Scott-Moncrieff/Kilmartin/Enright translation. At the end of the day, most of the non-English classics got be be known by Anglophones in old translations in spite of the faults they might have had. I just wonder how much - if anything - the new translations add (or detract!). I have posted this question elsewhere and am surprised how little interest there is in this topic given that most readers approach the works in English and that there is no lack of controversy over these translations. Many thanks, Chris

5enevada
Août 1, 2007, 11:57am

Little interest? Funny, because this is one thing that many readers of Proust are absolutely passionate about - and I think it is because, like our loves, our first reading becomes something very special, something that no further reading will ever approach, and so we hold it dear. For most English readers the first reading was Moncrieff, and thus we cherish it. Kilmartin revised Moncrieff, and Tadie/Enright added yet another layer - making it three layers removed from Proust. Which is why I recommend the new Penguin translations - not perfect, by any means, but a more immediate delivery of Proust.

Of course, I love Moncrieff, and always will. I don't really think it matters - if you are to fall in love with Proust, it will happen no matter who guides you. I think of him as the architect and the translators as his tradesmen - laying the stones, carefully and beautifully, but always in the pattern dictated by master plan.

(except for the labyrinth, where they leave their own secret marks - but this just adds to the complexity, delightfully so, don't you think?)

6chrisharpe
Août 2, 2007, 11:14am

Hello enevada

Many thanks for your comments. A quick question: are you saying that a Moncrieff translation is perhaps better than the later revisions by K/E? I only ask as a friend of mine just told me she has seen a nice 12 volume Moncrieff set in a secondhand bookshop in the UK. I live in a part of South America with unreliable mail, so I have to plan my foreign book aquisitions in advance and Proust doesn't seem to be in your average highstreet bookshop in Britain any more.

Many thanks, Chris.

P.S. I say "little interest" as yours is the first real "answer" to the query which I have posted elsewhere too.

7enevada
Août 2, 2007, 12:55pm

I'm not trying to be evasive, but I think each translation has its own merits - as to the Moncrieff (original translation with the final volume by Frederick Blossom, due to Moncrieff's death) - buy it. Certainly worth having.

What I am also saying is that the translations built upon Moncrieff - Moncrieff/Kilmartin and then Tadie/Enright. I think each effort was necessary, and worthwhile.

I think the new Penguins are more immediate to Proust - they are not re-working of earlier translations - but direct translations in themselves. At least, that was the intent, and it seems to have been met. The fact that each book has a different translator gives it a less cohesive feel - but still, I think it works.

Caracas? Yes, I would think that less than reliable post service is one of your many daily concerns.

Good luck with your library!

8rebeccanyc
Août 4, 2007, 1:31pm

I read Proust in the new translations, the one with different translators for most of the volumes. I really can't compare this version to earlier ones, because I never got more than halfway through Swann's Way before reading this latest set. Without knowing enough French (or enough about Proust) to evaluate whether some of the translators in the multi-translator edition were truer to the original than others, I can definitely say I enjoyed some of the translations more than others.

9languagehat
Août 17, 2007, 2:33pm

I'm reading the Scott-Moncrieff/Kilmartin/Enright translation (aloud, to my wife, with occasional reference to the original) and enjoying it thoroughly. I'm sure the new ones are good too, but I don't think anyone would claim there was a burning need to replace the old one. I suspect the main reason for a new one was commercial (the old one was going out of copyright).

Kilmartin revised Moncrieff, and Tadie/Enright added yet another layer - making it three layers removed from Proust. Which is why I recommend the new Penguin translations - not perfect, by any means, but a more immediate delivery of Proust.

I don't understand this at all. You surely don't think Kilmartin and Enright were just tinkering with the Moncrieff without reference to the French? The whole point of the revisions was to bring it closer to Proust; Moncrieff took the easy way out sometimes and misunderstood the original other times, and the revisers cleaned up that stuff while leaving his brilliant English prose intact as far as possible.

To the original poster: I'd say if you like the style of the first volume, might as well stick with the team.

10bookishbunny
Modifié : Août 17, 2007, 4:33pm

I read the first volume in the old translation and the second volume in the new. I found the second to be much more readable and flowing. I really liked certain moments of Swan's Way in the old trans., but I'm definitely going back to read it in the new. If the title of the second is any indication (In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower), the newer translations are truer to the original French. I hope to do a side-by-side spot check to see if this is true.

The touchstone is not working due to it being recognized as Within a Budding Grove, which is NOT the French title!

11enevada
Août 17, 2007, 8:46pm

"I don't understand this at all. You surely don't think Kilmartin and Enright were just tinkering with the Moncrieff without reference to the French? The whole point of the revisions was to bring it closer to Proust;"

I understand, but it is the nature of translation (have you done any? it is a difficult thing in itself) to lose the flavor of the original with each subsequent translation. What I am saying is that each translation stands alone - and the subsequent translations were reactions to Moncrieff - yes, to bring it closer to Proust on one hand, but also to make it less like Moncrieff on the other.

Do you see? It is very subtle, and that's why I think each reader should read them all and then make their own discoveries. Of course, we have only so much time.

12enevada
Août 17, 2007, 8:59pm

"the newer translations are truer to the original French."

I agree with this - certainly a more direct experience of the language if not the intent of Proust. Moncrieff was aiming for intent, I believe. a difficult thing to do, certainly, but not without merit.

I've never made the same souffle twice - even with the same original recipe, but each is delicious. That is how I look at it.

13dperrings
Août 17, 2007, 9:15pm

I like the souffle analogy.

david perrings

14Aerodynamics
Nov 6, 2007, 1:30pm

I've been wrestling with this issue myself, lately. One of the things that I found frustrating is that the new Penguin translations are often either lauded or dismissed as a whole, rather than being treated piecemeal (which would seem to make more sense for a labor thus divided).

I leapt into A La Recherche du Temps Perdu with the new Lydia Davis translation of Swann's Way, taking it on faith that the profound praise of her interpretation was warrented. I enjoyed it very much, and came away with the impression that the rough edges of the original had very much been left intact.

As I'm almost through with my reading of this first volume, I've been "comparison shopping" between the Scott-Moncreiff and the James Grieve translations of the second. Sitting down with both in a local bookstore, I found the Grieve version much more engaging and approachable, despite certain liberties taken with the original text; ironically, it seems that the Scott-Moncrieff version is the more literal one. Nevertheless, I find difficulty with Scott-Moncrieff for the reason that it overlays Proust's "frenchness" with a certain "englishness", which, to an extent, seems to nullify or dull some of the subtle themes and tones of the original.

15Existanai
Nov 7, 2007, 12:50am

How Proustian would Proust sound if you read him in the original, without your language barrier or any other handicaps?

Would he sound too 19th century? Would he sound prosaic or melancholic? Would he even sound "French"?

The question of which translation to choose is always a personal one; you have to browse and decide for yourself. Obviously, every translator also brings his or her sensibilities to a work, and the foreign-language reader, apart from trying to distill the purported sensibilities of the author from the translator's, is also continually adding or subtracting his or her own, in attempting to move towards some conception of ideal, holistic "understanding" or "truth" inherent to the text which, in literature at least, is quite meaningless.

Every reading is an exchange of sensibilities. The only solution is to find a sensibility (or a group of them) compatible with yours.

As for my opinion, although some of the translators involved in the Penguin edition are esteemed, talented people who are well known for their previous work (and I own and would definitely buy some other translations of theirs) I wouldn't bother with the edition as a whole except out of curiosity, or to state my opinion on it. It feels much too uneven, too workmanlike, too bombastic in intention. In brief, it calls attention to itself. Who can take a title like "In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower" seriously? A literal rendition of the French, of course, but ghastly and convoluted English. A typical case of overenthusiastic translatese, peddled as "accuracy" - Moncrieff's substitute ("Within a Budding Grove"), on the other hand, invokes the poetry and intimacy of the original. There are reasons why translators are not only expected to 'translate', but be good writers themselves - or one could hardly take any interest in foreign works as literature, after all.

I have the complete set of the Enright revision, and short of improving my French, would buy it again in a nice hardcover binding if I found a reasonably priced copy. It is faithful in tone, syntax and vocabulary, and in other ways, and I can't see what the detractors here have against it.

Nevertheless, please try comparing various passages yourself, whether online or in person, and choose the one you are most comfortable with.

16Aerodynamics
Modifié : Nov 7, 2007, 9:35am

Indeed, the quality ascribed to a given translation is largely a matter of personal taste.

However clumsy it may initially sound in English, "In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower" is a title that I find easy enough to take seriously, given the experience of Proust's sensibilities gleaned from a reading of the initial volume of Á la recherche du temps perdu (how fortunate that the title "Du côté de chez Swann" is rather prosaic and approachable). It strikes me that that Scott-Moncrieff's transmutation of the title to "Within a Budding Grove", while perhaps more poetic (and certainly easier to say), somewhat excises the meaning of Proust's phrase.

To what extent has Scott-Moncrieff dulled edge of Proust's sentiment? Perhaps the title initially seems laughable to some, but it is just such an experience of culture shock when, as a reader, I find my expectations confounded, that continually draws me back to the arts. For this and other instants of suprise and joy I feel personally grateful to the many translators who have put their hand to Proust's text, who, providing foreign readers with a selection of interpretations, allow them to find a version which will speak to them with a clear voice.

17languagehat
Nov 7, 2007, 1:57pm

Andre Aciman wrote a two-part review a couple of years ago in the NYRB of the first two volumes of the Penguin translation, on which he is hard; the first is:
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/18526
and the second:
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/18563

Since they are subscription-only, I'll provide a couple of highlights. From the first:

"Despite their differences, all four of the versions of Swann's Way—by Scott Moncrieff, Terence Kilmartin, D.J. Enright, and Lydia Davis—provide serious, good-faith renditions of the French. If Davis tends to be more accurate than Scott Moncrieff, her cadence is less resonant. Moncrieff was trying to reinvent something like an epic style to echo Proust's; Davis is not aiming that high. Hers is the case of a scrupulous and dutiful writer translating a French novel that happens to be written by Proust, the way Scott Moncrieff had translated French novels that happened to be written by Stendhal. Davis is more meticulous and far less hasty than Scott Moncrieff, less willing to take chances, unassuming in her diction, always honest, and frequently Gallic in her choice of words. But Enright, after reworking Kilmartin and Scott Moncrieff, is the closest to the source...

"Gone is the cadence that might shed more light, gone the sweep that could have given the irreducible comic meanness of the episode its near-tragic register, gone the sense of mastery on the part of the writer—and the translator. Gone not just the style, but the voice, which is the temper, the attitude, the inflection of style. The larger scope of Scott Moncrieff's and Enright's Proust is simply not present in Davis. Davis's prose runs more naturally on neutral—which is not necessarily a fault. But it's not really a virtue either..."

And from the second:

"There is nothing egregiously wrong in Grieve's volume. Its tone is much more relaxed and far less exacting than Davis's, and, as far as I could tell, it does not mistranslate anything, certainly not as was the case with Scott Moncrieff before both Kilmartin and Enright came to his rescue.

"But well enough is not good enough. Will Grieve's translation, for instance, serve the scholar who is not entirely at ease with the original French? Absolutely not. If anything, because it does not follow the rhythm of Proust's sentences, it is a dangerous translation. It fails to see—and, more importantly, to convey—that the drama of discovery and revelation inscribed in each sentence by Proust is indissolubly fused to Proust's style...

"The job of a great translator is never to forget this inner poet. If he so wishes, the translator may want to give us discreet reminders of the poet hiding in the recesses of his words. Scott Moncrieff attempted such a feat, and those who followed in his steps were all too well aware that if poets nod at times, they never plod, and that, even in prose, they can never afford to plod. That, in the end, is also how Scott Moncrieff, Kilmartin, and Enright came by their voices.

"How Grieve's version came by its voice, however, is beyond reckoning. It does not translate Proust. It rewrites Proust. The spirit is gone. As for the letter, well, it's there—but not really.

"... Not to understand an author's style may often be excusable; but not to understand Proust's style is to miss the vision—and without the vision, unfortunately, all we're left with is...prose. Just prose. And that's not good enough."

18chrisharpe
Nov 13, 2007, 3:07pm

Wow, I thought this thread had gone dead. Thank you very much Aerodynamics, Existanai and languagehat for those insightful comments. I has read the debate surrounding Aciman's comments and that was partly my reason for asking for a bit of guidance. Yes, I know a translation is not simply "good" or "bad" and that its fidelity, utility and worth depends to a great extent on the target audience. I would love to be able to compare the books in the flesh but, as I live some way from a place where I can browse the respective English translations, I was hoping to elicit just these sorts of comment so that I can get a fair idea of the effect the various versions have had on fellow readers. I find I can sometimes read between the lines enough this way to pick out what might work for me. I don't have a problem with Victorian sounding prose as long as it is fairly faithful to the original and I am not really fluent enough to judge this. Sometimes its just nice to have someone who knows more recommend a way of entry. Just as there might be "definitive recordings" of pieces of music (not necessarily the "best one" or the one that grabs you!), it can be handy to have a few reference translations. So thanks again for your help - it's much appreciated!

19LolaWalser
Nov 16, 2007, 1:07pm

I haven't read any of the English translations of Proust (and don't intend to), but I disagree with Existanai so rarely I feel I have to take this opportunity and comment, even if it's only on a mere title. :)

I don't think "In the shadow of young girls in flower" sounds "ghastly and convoluted". Stylistically it's equivalent to the French (not always nor automatically the case with literal translations). Proust's phrase is descriptive, simple and direct, there's nothing especially "Frenchy" nor idiomatic about it that would in principle compromise a literal translation (assuming the target language tolerates it). If it sounds a bit odd--I'd prefer to say, "unexpected"--in English, rest assured that it sounds equally odd and unexpected in French.

In contrast, I find "Within a budding grove" utterly irritating (and, while not precisely "ghastly", certainly "convoluted"). Its cloying poetry comes out of nowhere and abuts in euphemistic horticultural vagueness. Not only it isn't what Proust wrote, it misrepresents the way he is. It feeds into the frequent misconception of Proust as some sort of a faded Victorian violet, dunking cookies in tisanes and mooning about love, countesses, and other delicate, girly things in nightingale tones.

"La recherche..." bursts with poetry, but it isn't sentimental, quite the contrary. Proust is a modern, an instinctive Sadeian--infinitely closer to Zen poetry than to English lyric poets. I'll break off here with just another note on language, harking back to Existanai's musing about whether he sounds "19th century" in French, and leaving aside other indicators of period. French language is more stable than English, and the literary French of Proust is nearly timeless (it is the argot, the slang, the speak of the moment that becomes archaic rapidly). Flaubert's French sounds more modern than, say, Meredith's or Gissing's or Wells's English.

In fact, let that serve as my final reproach to "Within a budding grove"--it archaicises Proust's ageless original.

20jveezer
Nov 16, 2007, 2:54pm

I have to agree with LolaWalser...I find the the title Within a Budding Grove puzzling, while In the Shadows of Young Girls in Flower intriguing and poetic. Even though I have the minimal 3 years of high school French, and that 20+ years ago, I was puzzled by the Budding Grove translation of the title. Ah well, maybe this falls into the "Traduttore, Traditore" category that Gregory Rabassa discusses in his memoir If This Be Treason.

I wish I could read Proust in the French but that would be stretching it. I might still be able to figure out how to ask where the Orly Airport is but that's about it.

21Existanai
Nov 16, 2007, 7:20pm

First, thanks to everyone who replied to or referenced my post.

Languagehat, I remember reading that Andre Aciman article soon after it came out. Perhaps it had a premature influence on my opinion.

Chris, thanks for weighing in on the thread - some people post a question and never return.

As for Lola's post: Lola and I go a way back and we have uncannily similar tastes in some areas of literature (usually, classics) - and I think her disagreement underlines what I said earlier about personal taste. Music to one ear is noise to another, etc., even when two people like the same kind of music.

My French is still far from fluent, so if Lola says that A l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleur is about as unexpected in French as "In the Shadow..." is in English, I believe it. I won't defend "Budding Grove" too much; I too was puzzled by the choice initially, and couldn't see any justification for it, but grew to like the inherent euphemism - "budding" or "within a grove" leave strong impressions as metaphors, whereas "young girls in flower" sounds too close for comfort. Again, that might be deliberate - it might evoke the mispresented, boldly sexual/Sadean aspect that Lola mentions shouldn't have been lost - but once the intimation is understood by a reader, I feel the tongue wraps itself around the syllables better and takes delight in the 'puzzle' (euphemisms often have a dual function after all: not only to keep the uninitiated out, but to whet the appetite of the experienced.)

To return to the original question of selection, Scott-Moncrieff's translation has been repeatedly labelled with the phrase 'purple prose' (it crops up again in a review I'll link below). The Shakespearean "Remembrance of Things Past" always seemed too dated to me; I like "The Sweet Cheat Gone" (Albertine disparue) and some other archaisms even less; but nevertheless I think the Enright revision came closest to a balance between accuracy and sensibility (as the introduction to the revision says, (I paraphrase) it is all too easy for the newcomer to take the beau role.) But that doesn't mean the newer translation lacks all pretentiousness. I'd like to end this post with a link to a wonderfully balanced review by Graham Robb, the well-known biographer of Victor Hugo, Stephane Mallarme and Arthur Rimbaud, titled Stripping Proust of prissiness.

22Existanai
Nov 19, 2007, 1:04am

Rereading Lola's post it seems "Within a Budding Grove" could actually be called a mistranslation, rather than simply a poor translation. If that is the case, my mistake.

At least most will agree that The Way by Swann's is a lot less graceful than Swann's Way!

23LolaWalser
Nov 19, 2007, 11:27am

That's an interesting article (I only skimmed the second page). As I said, I have neither read any of the English translations nor did I read about them, so I'm gratified to see my conclusions based on title translations alone actually seem to be in sync with what critics are feeling.

The titles of the individual volumes were prissy euphemisms: Within a Budding Grove, The Sweet Cheat Gone and The Cities of the Plain for A l'Ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs, La Fugitive and Sodome et Gomorrhe.

Absolutely--Proust isn't prissy. These translations convey a sensibility wholly different from his own; therefore they are bad translations. I'm also surprised to hear that someone (Moncrieff) "whose French was far from perfect" would undertake or be entrusted with translating Proust. Not because Proust might be exceedingly "difficult" (I never understood those charges), simply on principle. Although the problem here seems to be psychological as much (or more) than linguistic one, i.e. HOW a hypersensitive mama's boy is supposed to sound, what the stereotype contains.

At least most will agree that The Way by Swann's is a lot less graceful than Swann's Way!

I agree it's clumsy, but I don't like "Swann's Way" either. In English this phrase is deeply ambiguous, whereas the French original is a simple "geographic" (localising) pointer. Clearly, the new translation tried to limit itself to this "geographicity". Any ideas for a better sounding, yet similarly accurate one?

24enevada
Nov 19, 2007, 12:00pm

Existanai and Lola,

Commendable - this mission to beat that old misconception down - Proust is not in the least prissy. (I do appreciate the link).I think it has its basis in the translation - of language, of culture, of artistic understanding.

I find Proust to be both the earthiest of writers and the most sublime, we don't often encounter this in a writer, which may explain some of the difficulty that people have - he defies classification.

Swann's Way, seems too reductive to me because I think it is the experience of the path to which Proust refers: On the way to Swann's or Along the way to Swann's suggests the act and all it implies. (But, like Lola, I agree to leave it in French where it is intact and perfect).

25chrisharpe
Nov 30, 2007, 4:46pm

Well, this thread has really paid dividends - at least for me! Many thanks to everyone for helping enlighten me, and perhaps others, in the task of choosing which version to buy. As things turned out, I returned from the UK with booty: a nice-looking second-hand 12 volume Moncrieff set published by Chatto & Windus in 1969. The set is very pleasant to read in a way that older books often are: volumes that fit in the open palm, open flat and are made of paper that will not (here on the tropics) be brown before I've read them.

However, for what my opinion is worth, I leafed through the first volume, comparing it to the later Vintage edition with revisions by Kilmartin & Enright, and I was struck by how much better the more recent version read; or perhaps I might more accurately say, how much more vivid were the images conjured by the revised text. At least to my mind, those revisions have significantly improved the read. Whether they are closer to the original I do not know. Maybe one day I'll have the chance to read the multiple translations, but I suspect that by then I'll have forgotten just what the first one was like!

Many thanks again for all your useful comments!

26zip_000
Déc 28, 2007, 4:29pm

Like several others seemingly, I read "Swann's Way" in the older translation, and the rest (I'm currently reading "Sodom and Gomorrah")

While I certainly enjoyed "Swann's Way," I'd have to say that I enjoyed "In the shadow of young girls in flower" a great deal more.

A few times, I have read particularly good passages in both translations (both meaning the Moncrieff and the Prendergast), and I have to say that I like the Prendergast versions better. Whether they are more accurate to Proust I cannot attest, but I did find them to be more beautiful.

27rogershep
Modifié : Juil 2, 2013, 12:40pm

Interesting. A good question from Chris Sharpe.
I struggled with the Moncrieff, liked the Kilmartin
better, and might really finish the whole set
now that I have found out about the Enright edition.

I have a suspicion that one of the reasons is the
type size.. the Moncrieff is very small, but the
Enright is a happier and faster/easier read..
- I find the Vintage edition so much better.

The words are better, too..

28enevada
Modifié : Juil 2, 2013, 3:24pm

My son surprised me the other day when he said he had begun reading Swann's Way, and found it to be "amazing" - he's a teenager, a jock and a mathematician - I thought for sure he was pulling my leg, humoring the old lady, but he wasn't - so, into the vortex for the next generation, I guess. It is funny to think that his generation will probably read the translations in reverse order: the immediacy of the Penguin's translations grabbing them, and then building up from the scaffolding to the arch work of Moncrieff.

(I also have to say what a delight it is to see young adults when they discover real literature - I gave a copy of Brothers Karamazov to my brilliant (perhaps too) nephew who thanked me for giving him such a "well-written" book. It is too bad they don't get this stuff from school, but I understand the time constraints. Real reading doesn't happen until you're free of the bondage of school).

29PdNK
Jan 29, 2015, 4:36pm

Both translations, the British one and the American by L. Davis are basically unreadable, not because of the choices the translators made, but because of the distortions: the secret formulas that condition the reading are unintentionally destroyed, making any attempt to read the text meaningless. THAT does not mean that reading the French original would be an option. Not at all. We understand now that it is not the poor knowledge of French that its the obstacle, but the poor reading skills. THAT means, indirectly, that even native French speakers do distort the text. We do not knoww hy this happens. But it does.

Our serious Proust reading started some 30 years ago. And during that time we came to understand that all translations fail at a few points. There is never any difference between the translations. The faults are really independent of language or culture. What happens is that the translator, without knowing it, erases or distorts the secret formulas of the original text, making it basically impossible to cease the contents. It is question of just a few phrases, that occupy no more than 2 A4 pages. Hitherto we've seen all translations and read a few comments, all wrong. Can the wrong translation be corrected? The aswer is yes, but that does not help, because the reading cannot be corrected. When we visited the Proust translation colloqium in Paris at CRNS in 2013 this was exactly what we could witness.... the impotence of the translators. Accomplish complete nonsense.

There is a second novel in the original novel. In that one, the Narrator will kill his parents and his first reader. And some other people. If you don't see it, you have not read Proust. In itself, this story is of no importance, but it opens your mind and gives you the keys to the atrocities of the real Proustian universe.

30Hamletmachin
Jan 9, 2019, 6:22pm

Exactly. Well-said.

31languagehat
Jan 10, 2019, 10:27am

Are you joking? The 2015 comment is crazypants nonsense; it might as well say "Wake up!! THE ILLUMINATI WROTE THE S0-CALLED PROUST NOVELS!!!"