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.
53 people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?