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Part two of the greatest novel ever written
on 31 March 2010
This is the second volume of Proust's masterpiece, In Search of Lost Time, and it is not really worth reading this without first reading Swann's Way, the first volume.
Whether this translation is an improvement on the earlier Scott Moncrieff version (the title of which was more loosely translated as Within a Budding Grove) 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 one is technically more accurate and closer to Proust's original French, 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. This volume contains some of my favourite passages of the whole magnificent work.