Remembrance Of Things Past 2008 discussion

Publishing options for ROTP / Proust

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message 1: by Patrick (new)

Patrick | 35 comments Here's a link to the Modern Library's Proust books for this novel:

message 2: by Patrick (new)

Patrick | 35 comments And here's a link to the option to buy the Modern Library's six volume boxed set for $75.00:

message 3: by Patrick (new)

Patrick | 35 comments Here's a link to buy the Vintage editions of this novel:

I didn't realize before now that Random House owns both the Vintage and the Modern library imprints.

message 4: by Patrick (new)

Patrick | 35 comments Here's a link to what's available from penguin Books USA:

message 5: by Patrick (new)

Patrick | 35 comments Here are links to the Barnes and Noble Classics editions:

The paperback:

and the hardcover:

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks, Patrick for this thorough listing of editions.

I have to say, although I like the footnotes in my B&N edition of Swann's Way, my copy of The Modern Library Classics edition of Within A Budding Grove strikes me as being easier to read - literally, as in the font and layout of the pages are more reader friendly compared to the B&N. For me, that's an important consideration, especially for future re-reading.

Of course, B&N's price is much better, and as I said, the footnotes are wonderful. Now, if we could merge the two, that'd be great.

Patrick, don't you have the Vintage editions? How are they to read?

BTW, just glanced at the back cover of Within A Budding Grove, and they list readers' guides for the books - here's the link for Swann's Way in case anyone is interested.


message 7: by Patrick (new)

Patrick | 35 comments I am using the Modern Library editions. Unable to find a complete set of ROTP in the used bookstores, I opted to go with the six volumes of the Modern Library editions in the end, when I found the last four voulmes in a Borders in Long Beach.

But I did purchase the three volume Vintage editons at a Barnes and Noble when I first made it halfway through the copy of Swann's Way I'd had on my shelf for six years, and I decided that YES, I would finish the whole book.

So now I've got complete sets of ROTP by two different imprints.

Practically speaking, both seem fine. The font is equally good, and the size of the books are similar. But since the silver Vintage books include two volumes in each of the the three "books," they are a lot heavier to carry around than the Modern Library editions (which are pretty hefty themselves).

Unless I actually read both editions, I don't think I'm qualified to comment on which of these two choices is "better." And I've looked through the Penguin books, but can't comment on whether they are better or lesser translations than either Vintage or Modern Library.

I don't think translation and edition really matter for the purposes of the four of us who have joined this group thus far.

Finishing Proust is finishing Proust, a considerable accomplishment for any reader's lifetime. I consider even finishing Swann's Way to be a quite worthy achievement for any reader.

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Well I certainly agree wholeheartedly with "Finishing Proust is finishing Proust."

The translations don't concern me too much at this point either. I started with Moncrieff and I'm sticking with him until the bitter end. If I ever re-read ROTP, perhaps I'll try the never translation but for now, Moncrieff is it.

My only real concern is font and layout. Since I have vision in only one eye, reading small, bunched up print tires my poor good eyeball easily so usually I look for large print books or books with a nice, open layout, otherwise it takes for flippin' ever to get through a book.

I haven't examined the Vintage books so was wondering what they're like. Since I wouldn't take Proust with me anywhere, the weight wouldn't be an issue. I'll have to look into those.

message 9: by Patrick (new)

Patrick | 35 comments I think Vintage and Modern Library are equal for font size and layout of the text.

message 10: by Robert (new)

Robert | 6 comments I hope people don't mind me poking in like this (I'm tempted to join the read-along but probably won't because -warning: big ego moment ahead - I finished ROTP two years ago...) , but I'd recommend the Moncrieff/Kilmartin version. I read the three-volume edition, but I'd guess that individual copies of each section would be easier to handle, for those of you who read en route to work...
I don't know if anyone still reprints the earlier Moncrieff editions, but they were absolute torture for the eyes, with very tiny print packed into a very large page.
I haven't read any of the newly commissioned Penguin translations, but they've been well reviewed. I think I will go with them when I re-read it. (Unfortunately, the 6th volume is only available as an import for copyright reasons...)
I also strongly recommend Roger Shattuck's "Proust's Way" as a companion piece to reading the novel(s).

message 11: by Patrick (last edited Jan 20, 2008 09:50AM) (new)

Patrick | 35 comments Robert, Congrats on finishing ROTP. It's probably good for us to have someone in the group who has accomplished the feat we aspire to -- how long did it take you? Any recommendations on pacing?

I've seen the Shattuck book in our libraries out here -- I'd like to read that book and some others on this novel after I finish the whole thing.

message 12: by Kimley (new)

Kimley | 3 comments Hi everyone - and fancy seeing you here Robert! We're in another group together :)

Like Robert, I've just joined to listen along and enjoy your Proustly conversation. I actually read it about 20 years ago and would really like to reread it now that I am older (ahem) and wiser (at least one would hope). I first read Swann's Way in a French lit class, loved it and then managed to zip through the entire thing in a fitful, obsessed and unemployed summer of my youth.

But I think the advice given in another comment on this group to read it slowly and savor it makes far more sense. At least that's my plan for rereading it - especially since I am gainfully employed these days.

This is one of my very favorite pieces of literature! I'm really looking forward to reading all your discussions!

message 13: by Robert (new)

Robert | 6 comments Not to sound discouraging, but it took me nearly 30 years. ("Ulysses" took 25...) My own fault entirely. I started reading "Swann's Way" probably in 1974, then took a break. And every time I decided to go back to it, I'd make the choice of starting all the way from the beginning, simply because I love the "Swann in Love" section so much....
Finally a few years ago I decided to devote myself to it more seriously and read the three volume edition over a period of about two years, finishing in March of 2005.
(And yes, it's worth it...)

This year I've set a goal to read a few more of the weightier classics that I've missed over the years well as the mammoth Tadie biography of Proust. But I will certainly re-read "ROTP", probably in the next year or two..and not take so long about it!

message 14: by Patrick (new)

Patrick | 35 comments 30 years! You're killing us, Robert!

But actually your two year serious effort sounds about right, if you're a normal person with a job, a family, and things to do. The author who inspired me to read ROTP had his character read 10 pages a day and projected it would take a year.

Anyone out there know if this available as an audiobook? I don't know how much I'd get out of that, but I think one who listened to it all the way through could claim that they've "finished" this book.

I wouldn't want to listen to it while driving a long distance though. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz

message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

30 years! Well, you're certainly making me feel better about my snails pace :-) Seriously, two years sounds like a decent time to finish a seven volume rumination on human nature and memory!

When you read Proust in your French Lit class, did you read it in French? Or was it a lit class about French Lit taught in English? The reason I'm asking is, if you read it in the original French and then re-read it in English, it would be interesting to hear you comments regarding the difference between the two.

message 16: by Kimley (new)

Kimley | 3 comments Diana, it was a class of French lit in translation so I originally read the entire work in English - the Moncrieff/Kilmartin translation (the silver 3 volume set) which had just come out at the time. My professor who spoke French felt that the translation was good.

This class actually started a lifetime love of French literature for me and I ended up going back and studying French more seriously. I have since read Swann's Way in the original French and part of why I'd really like to reread the work is to read it all in the original French. But now to find the time...

I can say, based on my reading the first volume in French, that I do think the Moncrieff/Kilmartin translation is good. But I haven't seen any of the more recent translations which I've also heard good things about.

The enthusiasm in this group for this work is infectious! I hadn't had any immediate plans to read this again but I feel I'm getting the bug to do so :)

message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Thank you for your input!

It's wonderful that you were able to read Swann's Way in French and I'm glad to hear that based on your experience that the Moncrieff/Kilmartin translation is a good one... 'cause that's the one I have ;-)

And yes, this group is infectious. As much as I enjoy reading Proust, it seems I need a shove and this group is doing just that. So when the bug finally bites you to re-read ROTP (and you know it will ;-)), we'll be here to give you any shoves you may need :-)

message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Until I can buy Roger Shattuck's "Proust's Way" (excellent suggestion Robert - I've read several positive reviews), I found a link to the Spark Notes for "Swann's Way".

It's certainly not as in-depth as a book like "Proust's Way" but it has some interesting comments and, best of all for me, it lists the characters.


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