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    I’ve just embarked upon Proust. The Lydia Davis translation of Swann’s Way. Interested to hear views on the various translations as well as all things MP.

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      You'll be needing vinteuil, muzzer.

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        Originally posted by muzzer View Post
        I’ve just embarked upon Proust. The Lydia Davis translation of Swann’s Way. Interested to hear views on the various translations as well as all things MP.
        I read In Search of Lost Time while at uni, the same edition you have, and loved it... I very much liked the way it unfolds languidly over many pages with long sentences... it's only somewhat dim in my memory but I remember lots of obsessive behaviour, jealousy, some paranoia, some comedy, analysis of society in an epic style.

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          Originally posted by muzzer View Post
          I’ve just embarked upon Proust. The Lydia Davis translation of Swann’s Way. Interested to hear views on the various translations as well as all things MP.
          Is this part of the Penguin 'new' translation of a few years back? I don't know it, but I read a bit of the beginning of Combray and found it a bit wooden. Scott-Moncrieff's shadow will loom large over this work for many years to come, but am I wrong in thinking that translating A La Recherche is something that only a homosexual male can do properly? It is a work that could only have been written by a homosexual so. I think, in this case, a degree of 'positive discrimaitnion' is necessary when appointing a translator.

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            Originally posted by Joseph K View Post
            I read In Search of Lost Time while at uni, the same edition you have, and loved it... I very much liked the way it unfolds languidly over many pages with long sentences... it's only somewhat dim in my memory but I remember lots of obsessive behaviour, jealousy, some paranoia, some comedy, analysis of society in an epic style.


            It's ten years since I first (and last) read Proust, and the comedy of it was what most surprised me - there's a Pooteresque aspect to the narrator (his complete lack of awareness of how ridiculous and pompous he is - and of how he imagines the other characters respond to him) that is superb. And then that same naivety is used to communicate the obsessive erotic lives of Swann - and then the social ostracism of Odette that results - the narrative technique is magnificent.

            And then those hypnotic moments when the narrative "freezes", and we get a couple of pages that "just" describe a leaf floating across a pond and back. Breathtaking stuff. And the group of young women "hooligans" on the bikes - and how the narrator's confused mix of pomposity (which had created the humour elsewhere) and sexual impulses crushes the main girl's spirit.

            I think it's probably high time I treated myself to a second reading. (And see if my "voluntary memory" matches what actually happens in the novel.)
            [FONT=Comic Sans MS][I][B]Numquam Satis![/B][/I][/FONT]

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              Originally posted by ferneyhoughgeliebte View Post


              It's ten years since I first (and last) read Proust, and the comedy of it was what most surprised me - there's a Pooteresque aspect to the narrator (his complete lack of awareness of how ridiculous and pompous he is - and of how he imagines the other characters respond to him) that is superb. And then that same naivety is used to communicate the obsessive erotic lives of Swann - and then the social ostracism of Odette that results - the narrative technique is magnificent.

              And then those hypnotic moments when the narrative "freezes", and we get a couple of pages that "just" describe a leaf floating across a pond and back. Breathtaking stuff. And the group of young women "hooligans" on the bikes - and how the narrator's confused mix of pomposity (which had created the humour elsewhere) and sexual impulses crushes the main girl's spirit.

              I think it's probably high time I treated myself to a second reading. (And see if my "voluntary memory" matches what actually happens in the novel.)
              I read it in 2012. I began it in May and finished it in December, so it was a literary 'May to December romance'!

              I would highly recommend Harold Pinter's unproduced screenplay, which I read immediately after finishing the novel. A book that, by rights, ought to be unfilmable is brilliantly realised by a writer who can successfully 're-imagine' Proust for the screen. I honestly think it's a work of genius, though - of course- not on the same level as the original novel.

              It's probably a blessing that it was never filmed, though the screenplay was adapted and staged at the National Theatre (and it's been performed on radio).

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                There was a French film of Swann's Way, wasn't there - with Jeremy Irons? (Sort-of rhetorical question, because I remember seeing one, which put me off reading the novels for over a decade.)
                [FONT=Comic Sans MS][I][B]Numquam Satis![/B][/I][/FONT]

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                  Originally posted by ferneyhoughgeliebte View Post
                  There was a French film of Swann's Way, wasn't there - with Jeremy Irons? (Sort-of rhetorical question, because I remember seeing one, which put me off reading the novels for over a decade.)

                  Dull film, featuring a dull performance by Irons (who has developed as an actor since his early days when he tended to be cast for his 'looks'). Stay away from it, as well as the awful early 2000s film of Time Regained.

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                    Originally posted by Conchis View Post
                    Dull film


                    featuring a dull performance by Irons


                    (who has developed as an actor since his early days when he tended to be cast for his 'looks').
                    - and his "sound". I saw him as Richard II at Stratford in the early '90s - and was very surprised at what a very good actor he was on stage.
                    [FONT=Comic Sans MS][I][B]Numquam Satis![/B][/I][/FONT]

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                      .



                      .

                      ... I agree, the various films are underwhelming.

                      I enjoyed the Alan Bennett BBC2 film 102 boulevard Haussmann , with Alan Bates :




                      The Play's The Thing Project Today is my birthday, and what better way to celebrate it than watching an Alan Bennett play concerning an invalid writer's homosexual interest in a young wounded soldier in WWI Paris? Right up my street, that. Written by Alan Bennett, 102 Boulevard Haussmann focuses on a specific episode in the later life of acclaimed French novelist Marcel Proust - 1916 to be exact, the height of The Great War, when Proust retreated to his bed in a sound proofed room in Paris. It's somewhat typical Bennett; a static seemingly empty existence whose inherent drama is




                      .

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                        Originally posted by ferneyhoughgeliebte View Post






                        - and his "sound". I saw him as Richard II at Stratford in the early '90s - and was very surprised at what a very good actor he was on stage.

                        That was actually in 1986. I didn't see it, so can't comment.

                        I saw him in Long Day's Journey Into Night last year, in which he was excellent.

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                          Originally posted by vinteuil View Post
                          .



                          .

                          ... I agree, the various films are underwhelming.

                          I enjoyed the Alan Bennett BBC2 film 102 boulevard Haussmann , with Alan Bates :




                          The Play's The Thing Project Today is my birthday, and what better way to celebrate it than watching an Alan Bennett play concerning an invalid writer's homosexual interest in a young wounded soldier in WWI Paris? Right up my street, that. Written by Alan Bennett, 102 Boulevard Haussmann focuses on a specific episode in the later life of acclaimed French novelist Marcel Proust - 1916 to be exact, the height of The Great War, when Proust retreated to his bed in a sound proofed room in Paris. It's somewhat typical Bennett; a static seemingly empty existence whose inherent drama is




                          .
                          That's a good one, and Bates is perfectly cast.

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                            Yes, though by all accounts the later volumes in the new Penguin series aren’t as fluid as the Lydia Davis, so I will be switching to the Moncrieff, possibly the version updated by Enright. Have enjoyed Swann’s Way greatly,

                            Comment


                              Originally posted by Conchis View Post
                              That's a good one, and Bates is perfectly cast.
                              ... if a tad bulky for how we imagine Proust to have been...


                              .

                              Comment


                                Originally posted by vinteuil View Post
                                ... if a tad bulky for how we imagine Proust to have been...


                                .
                                In his latter years, Georgina Hale used to refer to him as 'Bounty bar Bates.'

                                Several people suggested he would make a marvellous Falstaff (and he surely would have done) but he was supposedly too vain to seriously contemplate it.
                                Last edited by Conchis; 15-05-19, 16:20.

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