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In Search of Lost Time: The Way by Swann's: The Way by Swann's Vol 1 (In Search of Lost Time 1)

In Search of Lost Time: The Way by Swann's: The Way by Swann's Vol 1 (In Search of Lost Time 1) [Kindle Edition]

Marcel Proust , Lydia Davis
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Since the original prewar translation there has been no completely new rendering of the French original into English. This translation brings to the fore a more sharply engaged, comic and lucid Proust. IN SEARCH OF LOST TIME is one of the greatest,most entertaining reading experiences in any language. As the great story unfolds from its magical opening scenes to its devastating end, it is the Penguin Proust that makes Proust accessible to a new generation.

Each volume is translated by a different, superb translator working under the general editorship of Professor Christopher Prendergast, University of Cambridge.

This edition has been edited by Christopher Predergast and translated by Lydia Davis. Also contains an introduction and notes by the translator, and a preface by the editor, as well as a detailed synopsis of the book.

About the Author

Marcel Proust (1871-1922) is 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, giving himself over entirely to writing IN SEARCH OF LOST TIME.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1457 KB
  • Print Length: 502 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0141180315
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (2 Oct 2003)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI97S4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #59,274 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Marcel Proust was born in Auteuil in 1871. In his twenties he became a conspicuous society figure, frequenting the most fashionable Paris salons of the day. After 1899, however, his suffering from chronic asthma, the death of his parents and his growing disillusionment with humanity caused him to lead an increasingly retired life. He slept by day and worked by night, writing letters and devoting himself to the completion of A la recherche du temps perdu. He died in 1922 before publication of the last three volumes of his great work.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most beautiful novels ever written 31 Mar 2010
This is the first volume of Proust's masterpiece, In Search of Lost Time, and it is where you must start if you want to read Proust. It works just fine as a novel in its own right, unlike the following volumes. The only question is, which translation should you read? Until this edition it was usually titled, in English, Swann's Way. 'The Way by Swann's' is a more literal (and also less ambiguous) translation from the French, and I think this is perhaps the strength of Lydia Davis compared with the original Scott Moncrieff translation. Whether it is an improvement or not is a matter of personal opinion. The differences are fairly subtle, and I don't think one translation can be said to be better than the other. This new one is technically more accurate, but Scott Moncrieff retained the 'feel' of Proust's writing quite brilliantly.
Whichever version you go for it is a beautiful book, not really concerned with plot but with characters and what it means to be human, full of sensitive observations about life and love. Highly recommended.
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111 of 116 people found the following review helpful
Sooner or later every serious reader must come to terms with Marcel Proust's six volume work, Remebrance of Things Past. This new translation is as good a way as any to get into it, and Swann's Way, as it is usually called, is the first volume. This is a challenging read. The reader needs to relax, to give up all hope of finishing the book quickly, or of finding an exciting plot or much forward movement in the book. But once you have set aside your notions of what constitutes a novel, and are prepared to go on this meandering journey of self-disovery (through finding in yourself the same thoughts that Proust thinks), you will find an intimate and beguiling novel which will generate the "of course" reaction in you as you see yourself and the people around you in a new light.
Proust has the gift of analysing the interior motives of his characters, not just in terms of their actions, but in terms of their thoughts and speech. He detects the evasions and dissimulations in everyday social interactions and exposes the deceits of convention and tradition. Having read this book I can say that all though it was a difficult read, it was worth the effort and the memory of this novel past has affected the way I look at the world around me. I look forward to volume 2.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
I am dependent on English translations for reading works originally in French. Given the turgid, convoluted, over literal translations of Proust that I am used to, Lydia Davis' production is a joy to read. She manages to convey the huge range of emotion and shades of meaning necessary when translating Proust; very lucid. She also demonstrates the importance of the translator not only for making works available to other language speakers but also for making a work live on accommodating changes in the target language.The notes are really helpful. I would live to read further volumes translated by her whilst realising that they may produce rather different translation problems. All in all (something I did not think I would say about Proust, a gripping read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now I understand 28 Mar 2011
Having avoided Proust for 30+ years because of his reputation as the 'serious' writer to top all serious writers, I finally got round to reading this first volume ... and now I understand what all the fuss is and was about.

There's actually nothing `difficult' about his style (as perhaps there is with someone like Joyce or Faulkner). The experience is rather like sitting comfortably in an open boat being carried rapidly, but not too rapidly, along a river. The scenery is varied and exquisite. Occasionally, the boat enters a slower stretch of water. However, you are so relaxed that you accept the change readily. Eventually, you move back into the faster water, feeling even more receptive to your rich surroundings.

Of course, this feeble simile doesn't do the book justice. Let's just say it's an experience well worth having. Oh, and parts of the books are really quite funny. For example, the descriptions of M. and Mme. Verdurin. I'm looking forward to reading the other volumes.

October 2012 update: I'm on the sixth volume and my admiration for Proust is now boundless. Every paragraph seems to contain insight or wisdom about the human condition and how we frame and process ideas and memories of the people we love, both while they're living and after they're dead.

Here's a more or less random extract: "We exist only by virtue of what we possess, we possess only what is really present to us, and so many of our memories, our humours, or ideas set out to voyage far away from us, until they are lost to sight! Then we can no long make them enter into our reckoning of the total which is our personality. But they know of secret paths by which to return to us. And on certain nights ...
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The molecular structure of memory 16 April 2010
By John Ferngrove TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having started this book maybe four or five times over the last three years or so, and indeed having firmly concluded that it was not for me, I let myself be persuaded by Clive James' to make one last effort to get past the point at which I usually stalled. That being where the young Marcel is waiting in anguish for his mother to come and kiss him a last goodnight. My difficulty was not just the immense effort required to unpack and assimilate each rambling, labyrinthine sentence. No one enjoys an exquisitely deconstructed stream of consciousness novel more than I do. But when the inner life of the subject is so constrained by the prurient, bourgeois conventions of Proust's times I find that a cloying sense of claustrophobia accumulates in my chest and throat as I read, such that I must put the book aside every few paragraphs to breathe freely again. Even having built up sufficient momentum to break through into the main body of the book and complete it, I cannot say that these sensations have dissipated. I have rather had to accept that this neurotic unease is one of the defining parameters of the reading experience, but one whose discomfort I now recognise is compensated for by Proust's extraordinary power to evoke a corresponding stream of resonant recollection within the reader. Reading Proust there are times when one finds ones locus of awareness suddenly split. One is simultaneously the reader of Proust, and also the reader of the meta-novel, which is the stream of conscious recollection of a fabulously dense associative network of episodes from the reader's own life, that has been activated by his reading of Proust.

One may read some novels to take pleasure in the author's facility with language, or one might admire an author for their psychological perspicacity and wisdom.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Who sanctioned these titles?
By way of Swann's ?!? That isn't even grammatical! As for A love of Swann's, In the shadow of young girls in flower and Finding time again, well, what can you say? Read more
Published 5 days ago by J. Patterson
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh my word, how wonderful.
I don't know if it's the age I've reached (late 30s), or whether it's Lydia Davis's translation - but I can't put this book down. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Niah
5.0 out of 5 stars Poetic
It is so beautifully written that reading even only a part from it is enough to quench your thirst for beauty. It is much more than a very well written book. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Gokcen Baskan
5.0 out of 5 stars In search of one's own past...
This is one of the classic works of literature. "Swann's Way" is the first volume of Proust's magnum opus, which has traditionally and somewhat inaccurately been translated as... Read more
Published on 20 Feb 2012 by John P. Jones III
2.0 out of 5 stars Unreadable
Did I actually read the same book as the other reviewers here??? I found this book almost unreadable: convoluted, thick-as-treacle prose filled with the drippiest characters... Read more
Published on 25 Aug 2011 by Heliotrope
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly easy to read
I embarked on Proust's 6 volume epic as a result of a casual comment by someone that "you know you're middle aged when you realise that you'll never read the whole of In Search of... Read more
Published on 29 Aug 2010 by jeanniej
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius. In Search Of Lost Time is a amazing book to read which also...
The book could change your whole outlook on life with Prousts limitless aesthetic understanding of the human condition that exspands and changes with each volume. Read more
Published on 3 Dec 2008 by Mr. Ms. Tait
5.0 out of 5 stars Do not put off reading this book
I urge you to get this book out of the library, read it on-line, or best of all buy this superb translation. Read more
Published on 10 Aug 2008 by SL Bradbury
5.0 out of 5 stars What would have happened if he'd had a coffee instead?
Why oh why has this new translation been published in two different covers? The American ones, in Penguin Delux Editions, have gorgeous covers, and the British editions have the... Read more
Published on 7 Aug 2007 by Rampaging Hippogriff
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It is the same with our past. It is a waste of effort for us to try to summon it, all the exertions of our intelligence are useless. The past is hidden outside the realm of our intelligence and beyond its reach, in some material object (in the sensation that this material object would give us) which we do not suspect. It depends on chance whether we encounter this object before we die, or do not encounter it. &quote;
Highlighted by 19 Kindle users
only in recollection does an experience become fully significant, as we arrange it in a meaningful pattern. Thus the crucial role of our intellect, our imagination, in our perception of the world and our recreation of it to suit our desires, and the importance of the role of the artist in transforming reality according to a particular inner vision: the artist escapes the tyranny of time through art. &quote;
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But even with respect to the most insignificant things in life, none of us constitutes a material whole, identical for everyone, which a person has only to go to look up as though we were a book of specifications or a last testament; our social personality is a creation of the minds of others. &quote;
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