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message 1: by Abi (new)

Abi | 45 comments So I thought maybe I'd start trying to introduce some order into the horror that is Marcel Proust's page, and discovered that the books have been titled in lots of different ways. Some of them are listed with the name of the volume, then a reference to In Search of Lost Time (or equivalent):
Swann's Way (In Search of Lost Time, #1)
Which looks like the Goodreads standard (although it is still problematic, as different editions print some volumes together where others separate them, etc).
But a lot of them have things like:
In Search of Lost Time Vol I (Swann's Way)
In Search of Lost Time 1 - Swann's Way
Should I make an effort to standardise them or leave the titles as they are?


message 2: by Paula (last edited Mar 15, 2010 12:06PM) (new)

Paula (paulaan) | 7029 comments I would standardize where possible to the Goodreads Standard.

"Which looks like the Goodreads standard (although it is still problematic, as different editions print some volumes together where others separate them, etc)."
We separate by edition Vol so all vol 1s combine together, all vol 2's etc. If vols are together then those are kept separate from the individual vols

Leo Tolstoy is an example


message 3: by Cait (last edited Mar 15, 2010 12:24PM) (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments "Swann's Way (In Search of Lost Time, #1)" would be the standard form if "Swann's Way" were book 1 of the "In Search of Lost Time" series, but the difficulty with "In Search of Lost Time" is that it's not actually a series: it's one novel in seven parts. I don't think we have a standard form for that, because it's fairly rare.

I think that "Swann's Way (In Search of Lost Time, #1)" makes sense as a standard format, but so does "In Search of Lost Time, Volume 1: Swann's Way" (which is also the format we use for comics series). Book series format has the advantage that someday we'll have series objects and the book will be linked together; comics series format has the advantage that the book alphabetizes with itself right now. Thoughts?

(This one is not good, definitely: "In Search of Lost Time Vol I (Swann's Way)". Things in parenthesis without numbers don't show up in many title areas, but "Swann's Way" is, to my mind, clearly an important part of the title.)


message 4: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 43526 comments Mod
I hope no one needs me to have an opinion. The only thing I know about Proust is madeleines. ;)


message 5: by Abi (last edited Mar 15, 2010 12:32PM) (new)

Abi | 45 comments Well what's the standard for something like The Fellowship of the Ring? I would argue that Lord of the Rings corresponds to In Search of Lost Time - a novel in parts rather than a series.


message 6: by Cait (last edited Mar 15, 2010 12:34PM) (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments A further data point: the only other example of book-in-several-volumes that came to mind was The Viscount of Adrilankha, which is using the book series format (The Viscount of Adrilankha is, confusingly, the third book in the Khaavren Romances trilogy); of course, this book's volumes have the volume title prominent on the cover, which reminds me that In Search of Lost Time does not even have a standard translated title (let alone a standard title between languages), and so the alphabetization argument doesn't provide much.

Which is to say: now I lean toward the book series format. :)

(Wow, it's like even thinking about Proust makes me wordy!)


message 7: by Abi (last edited Mar 15, 2010 12:43PM) (new)

Abi | 45 comments Cait wrote: "Which is to say: now I lean toward the book series format. :)"

Even when it says on the cover of the book 'In Search of Lost Time' in big letters, with, say, 'The Guermantes Way' as like a subtitle?
Sorry, just want to make completely sure.

Also, another specific Proust problem is that sometimes parts of volumes are published separately. There are lots of editions of 'Swann in Love' for example, which is only a part of Swann's Way. What to do about that?
Swann in Love (Swann's Way, #2)? Swann in Love (In Search of Lost Time, #1.2)? The whole thing is in danger of becoming ridiculous...


message 8: by Cait (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments Perhaps our standard for this ought to be to respect the cover where available? I feel wishy-washy!

I took a look at Lord of the Rings, on your suggestion: in the fifty most popular editions, 34 use (with some minor variation) "The Fellowship of the Ring (Lord of the Rings, #1)" as the title and 16 use "The Lord of the Rings, Volume 1: The Fellowship of the Ring" as the title. It looks like there is only a mild consensus there....


message 9: by Abi (last edited Mar 15, 2010 12:50PM) (new)

Abi | 45 comments Sigh. This is why I really don't like the whole (Series, #) thing. It makes the title look messy at the best of times (just plain old Swann's Way looks so much more elegant imo) and causes horrible complications at the worst. I sort of understand why it's necessary, but I can't wait for a separate field to put all this sort of thing in.


message 10: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Cait wrote: "Perhaps our standard for this ought to be to respect the cover where available? I feel wishy-washy!

I took a look at Lord of the Rings, on your suggestion: in the fifty most popular editions, 34..."


I think the cover page / title page (I guess those are the same thing?) need to be respected. So, we shouldn't aim for uniformity at all costs.

I also agree with Abi about the series thing looking really messy - although if one is a series reader and trying to read in order it does make things simpler.


This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For | 949 comments I honestly don't see much difference between a planned trilogy and a novel written in three parts.

I personally feel that all of the English editions of of the Lord of the Rings books should follow the "The Fellowship of the Ring (Lord of the Rings, #1)" format; the fact that so many do not is simply because no one like myself has had the time/patience to tackle all of them. The lack of uniformity has nothing to due with lack of consensus on how to treat it and everything to do with volume.

I have no particular opinion on Proust, but it seems like it should be "Swann's Way (In Search of Lost Time, #1)" for consistency. As for "Swann in Love", this is irritating, but actually a very common problem when one starts looking at foreign translations of larger books (these often have their own unique numbering system which can avoid the problem) or when audio book version of long books are broken into parts. Unfortunately, the only thing to do in these cases are things like "Title, part 1 (Series, #1.1)" and "Title, part 2, (Series, #1.2)", etc.

I agree, though, that titles can really get out of control (if you some of these are bad, start looking at subseries within larger series and the complexity of those titles) the separate series object should really improve things if/when implemented well.


message 12: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn (seeford) | 579 comments Ditto to what Michael said. = )


This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For | 949 comments I'm not sure if this is a direct result of this thread or not, but over the last few days it appears that a librarian has gone and added "The Fellowship of the Ring (Lord of the Rings, #1)" to the front of every single edition of this book, including all foreign language titles (they did not replace the foreign language title, but rather added the English title/series to the front). Similar changes were made to the other books in the series. (One or two have already been changed back).

Unless I'm mistaken, that is not proper policy.


message 14: by Abi (new)

Abi | 45 comments Hum, I'm definitely not doing that with the Proust. I don't think it is proper policy, no. The series title should be in the same language as the particular edition, I'm pretty sure, so:

Swann's Way (In Search of Lost Time, #1)
Du côté de chez Swann (À la recherche du temps perdu, #1)
In Swanns Welt (Auf der Suche nach der verlorenen Zeit, #1)

And so on. That's how it's meant to be, right?


message 15: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 43526 comments Mod
This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For wrote: "Unless I'm mistaken, that is not proper policy."

Agreed. Definitely should not be on the foreign editions, for starters.


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