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Swann's Way

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  • Bekah
    To be so perceptive and yet so innocent—that, in a phrase, is the achievement of Proust. - Christopher Hitchens Well, I started yesterday - reading 15
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 1, 2013
      "To be so perceptive and yet so innocent—that, in a phrase, is the achievement of Proust." - Christopher Hitchens

      Well, I started yesterday - reading 15 pages a day so I'm now at page 30. That feels like it will do just about right for ambiance and comprehension and still feel like I'm getting somewhere. It doesn't feel at all rushed, (it's a bit slow I guess), but it's enough to be engaged and appreciative.

      This is my 3rd reading of this excellent (!) book and it grows even better (and better) with each reading. My first attempt was about 20 years ago, just for curiosity, and I didn’t get all that much out of it - lots of skimming over and through those long, long sentences and paragraphs which seemed to ramble all over. I read the C.K. Scott Montcrief translation that time. I read that same version about 5 years ago when a friend and I joined forces to read the whole novel of 7 volumes in 7 months – that second reading was much more enjoyable.



      I’m not sure I’m enjoying the Davis translation as much as I enjoyed that of Montcrief, it just doesn’t have the ambiance of a certain class (upper middle or lower upper?) in France prior to WWI. On the other hand it’s distinctly easier to understand in some ways. I suppose this comes down to preference – I’ve seen both preferences justified:

      * the Paris Review (very short but pro Davis - many other pro Davis reviews online)
      http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2011/01/07/which-translation-of-proust-should-i-read/

      * the Atlantic (pro Enright / by Hitchens)
      http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/2004/01/hitchens.htm

      There is a plot in the whole novel, the 7 volumes, In Search of Lost Time, but it's not terribly apparent in Swann's Way.

      Don't try to get all the characters in Chapter 1 - there's a lot of name dropping - the point of which is to show how class-conscious some of the narrators family are. (heh) The important characters actually talk and will come on again later. In fact, when the family is discussing Swann it seems to me we learn as much, or more, about them than we do about Swann.


      Bekah
    • vaughan jackson
      Hi Bekah, Yes, I have started too. I personally think that Proust s writing is not to be read in a hurry or rush, it is so exquisite, ornate , perceptive and
      Message 2 of 7 , Jun 1, 2013
        Hi Bekah,

        Yes, I have started too.

        I personally think that Proust's writing is not to be read in a hurry or rush, it is so exquisite, ornate , perceptive and beautiful.

        OK, he does name drop and ramble on with long sentences....but then so did Cicero!

        Proust is all about awakening's one perceptions to a new artistic plateau.

        I think he is a genius at that.

        BTW, I am reading two translations simultaneously, the original C.K. Scott-Moncrieff (wonderful),
         and the Scott-Moncrieff / Kilmartin / Enright updated version (even more sublime )..

        Happy summer reading, people!

        cheers.

        VAJ


        From: Bekah <bekah0176@...>
        To: crgII@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Sunday, June 2, 2013 4:18 AM
        Subject: [crgII] Swann's Way

        "To be so perceptive and yet so innocent—that, in a phrase, is the achievement of Proust."  - Christopher Hitchens

        Well,  I started yesterday - reading 15 pages a day so I'm now at page 30.  That feels like it will do just about right for ambiance and comprehension and still feel like I'm getting somewhere.  It doesn't feel at all rushed,  (it's a bit slow I guess),  but it's enough to be engaged and appreciative.

        This is my 3rd reading of this excellent (!)  book and it grows even better (and better)  with each reading.  My first attempt was about 20 years ago,  just for curiosity,  and I didn’t get all that much out of it - lots of skimming over and through those long, long sentences and paragraphs which seemed to ramble all over.    I read the C.K. Scott Montcrief translation that time.  I read that same version about 5 years ago when a friend and I joined forces to read the whole novel of 7 volumes  in 7 months – that second reading was much more enjoyable. 



        I’m not sure I’m enjoying the Davis translation as much as I enjoyed that of  Montcrief, it just doesn’t have the ambiance of a certain class (upper middle or lower upper?) in France prior to WWI.  On the other hand it’s distinctly easier to understand in some ways.  I suppose this comes down to preference – I’ve seen both preferences justified:

        * the Paris Review (very short but pro Davis - many other pro Davis reviews online)
        http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2011/01/07/which-translation-of-proust-should-i-read/

        * the Atlantic (pro Enright / by Hitchens)
        http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/2004/01/hitchens.htm

        There is a plot in the whole novel,  the 7 volumes,  In Search of Lost Time,  but it's not terribly apparent in Swann's Way. 

        Don't try to get all the characters in Chapter 1 - there's a lot of name dropping - the point of which is to show how class-conscious some of the narrators family are.  (heh)  The important characters actually talk and will come on again later.  In fact,  when the family is discussing Swann it seems to me we learn as much, or more,  about them than we do about Swann. 


        Bekah




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