The Year of Reading Proust discussion

Marcel Proust
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message 1: by Richard (new)

Richard Thank you for this. All the information conveniently in one place! I plan to read the French of course. But if I came across a difficult passage or a particularly, er, Proustian sentence, it would be good to know which English translations you are using just for a bit of security. I would never have gotten away with this trick as a young French major. But now I'm a middle-aged rebel. :)


message 2: by Marieke (new)

Marieke | 181 comments I don't know if it's just my machine, but the links are not working. :(


message 3: by Ian (new)

Ian "Marvin" Graye | 118 comments Richard wrote: "I would never have gotten away with this trick as a young French major. But now I'm a middle-aged rebel. :) "

:)


message 4: by Jason (new)

Jason (ancatdubh2) I think Proustitute has some HTML errors in his message 1 that he will probably fix when he can, but in the meantime here is what I purchased (which is the 6-volume MKE boxed set that Proustitute refers to).
http://www.amazon.com/Search-Lost-Tim...

This link can also be used for the Kindle version.


message 5: by Marieke (new)

Marieke | 181 comments thanks, jason...i just went on a little shopping spree. :)


message 6: by [deleted user] (last edited Aug 19, 2012 04:06PM) (new)

For non-Amazon shoppers: here's a link to the same six-volume set from a range of booksellers, cheapest first: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/Searc...


message 7: by Ian (new)

Ian "Marvin" Graye | 118 comments Joshua wrote: "For non-Amazon shoppers: here's a link to the same six-volume set from a range of booksellers, cheapest first: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/Searc..."

Thanks, Joshua.


message 8: by AC (new)

AC | 4 comments Proustitute wrote: "Here are the editions/translations to order for our 2013 Proust reading group.



As discussed in a previous thread (http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/9...), we wi..."


On the Gallimard link, people should be careful, since the New ($69.95) and the July 2002 for $29.99 are the complete edition, but some of the paperbacks and hardbacks listed are only for texts of vol. 1 (Swann)


message 9: by AC (new)

AC | 4 comments The Gallimard I ordered (The July 2002) arrived. It is called the QuartoGallimard, and is a reprint of the 1999 edition.

Well... It IS the Tadié. However, it will be hard to use. It is 2401 pages of close typed French, without any notes, indices, tables of any sort, and without any standardized pagination/chapter/section numbers like you would find in the Bible or in the text of a classical author - which means that it will not be easy to find a passage in a French, if leafing to it from the English.

Perhaps someone can tell us if the 4 vol. Gallimard uses continuous and the same pagination system -- ??


message 10: by AC (new)

AC | 4 comments To be clear - the pages ARE numbered (continuously, from 1 to 2401), but they do not seem to represent any *standardized* pagination system of the sort that you would find in... etc.


message 11: by Orawan (new)

Orawan Cassidy (orawancassidy) | 1 comments Merci beaucoup.


message 12: by Gabriel James (new)

Gabriel James Miranda I look forward to this next year more than anything.


message 13: by Aloha (new)

Aloha Check, check! Got the Moncrieff translation 6 set. For those who'd like an audio supplement in order to not interrupt the reading if they're on the go or to just be entertained, Audible has audios up to Volume 4:

http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=nl_3?as...
http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=nl_4?as...
http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=nl_5?as...
http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=nl_6?as...


message 14: by Marie (new)

Marie (MademoiselleMarie) | 1 comments So I'm going to be reading the French version with the English version as an aid. I looked at the French version recommended by Proustitute, but I believe there are no footnotes, introductions, etcetera in that edition, not to mention the pagination issue that AC pointed out. I already have vol. 1 of the Antoine Compagnon version (Folio Classique/Gallimard), which has notes, letters, a chronology, and other documents. (The main text of my version MAY in fact be the same as the one AC bought/Proustitute recommended since Tadié also oversaw this collection.) Nonetheless, I'd really like to invest in the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade edition. As many of you may know, however, that edition is very expensive; (I've been unable to find it in new or 'like-new' condition for any less than $210 total.) Does anyone know of a cheaper box-set version of the most recent Pléiade edition? Is anyone else going to be using the Pléiade edition?
If I can't afford the Pléiade edition, I would like to get another French edition that has at least some notes, documents, etc included. I could stick with the Gallimard, but I can't seem to find a box/bundled version of that one either, let alone all of the individual volumes. Anyone have any suggestions? I'm so broke that I should probably just get the one Proustitute recommended, but I LOVE all the auxiliary materials in the Pléiade editions.

In case anyone is interested, here are links to some of the versions I've been discussing:
--The Gallimard/Folio Classique version of Swann that I currently have (ISBN 9782070379248): http://www.amazon.com/Swann-Collectio...
--The Pléiade edition:
VOL. 1: http://www.amazon.com/recherche-Bibli...
VOL. 2: http://www.amazon.com/Recherche-Temps...
VOL. 3: http://www.amazon.com/Recherche-Temps...
(Note that the version you see when you "look inside" on Amazon is NOT the same as the actual Pléiade edition.)
--The version Proustitute recommended: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/2070...


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm also very tempted by the Pléiade edition. I already have the Penguin translations, and I'm going to get the Modern Library ones also; that's a lot of paperbacks, and I don't really like paperbacks. It would be good to have at least the French edition in hardback.


message 16: by Richard (new)

Richard The publication history of this novel in French is more tortured than I ever realized. It seems that there are no less than 8 editions, leaving aside for now the "bandes dessinees" (please don't faint on me, Proustitute!). I have some volumes in the Folio version edited by Pierre Clarac et André Ferré--which seems to be of lesser quality than the Tadié. I also have some volumes in the "Livre de Poche" edition. (they were second-hand and I was young, cheap and stupid naive). I would love to get the Pléiade with annotations, but as you said, Marie, it's expensive. As Proustitute has asked me to help guide those who are reading Proust in the original, I will see what I can do about at least consulting the Pléiade.


message 17: by Kirk (new)

Kirk McElhearn I'd like to chime in on French editions. I live in France, and own several different editions.

The Gallimard Quarto edition, as mentioned above, is unwieldy, and the type is, well, unfriendly. It's a relatively narrow Bodoni, which is good because it fits a lot of words on a line, making the book shorter, but I find that it's hard to read. In addition, the book is very heavy; definitely not something you can read in bed or in the bathtub.

The Pléiade edition has a checkered history. It was the first edition I bought, when I came to France in 1984 (I am a lapsed New Yorker, and have lived in France since then). At the time, it was in three volumes, around 1,000 pages each, and came in a nice box. In the late 1980s, Gallimard, seeing that the text was falling into the public domain, decided to make the newer Pléiade edition. This one is in four volumes, nearly 2,000 pages each, and cost a lot more than the older ones. I have the new edition, but just under half of each book is "notes et variantes," which are interesting if you're obsessed with the changes Proust made over time, but otherwise they just take up a lot of space. (And their font is tiny; the standard Pléiade font is already small, but this is even smaller.)

This leaves the other paperback editions. I find the Folio (Gallimard) editions are quite readable, as are the Garnier-Flammarion, which were edited by someone other than Tadié (who did the Gallimard ediitons, together with Compagnon). One interesting aspect about the GF editions is that they have a volume with Albertine Disprau and another with La Fugitive, thus presenting the two different versions of that part of the work.

There's also a newer two-volume large paperback edition from Omnibus, but I haven't seen that, and I don't know which text they use in that edition.

Personally, I'd recommend either the Folio or the Garnier-Flammarion paperbacks, if you don't want to go with the Pléiade.

Now, if anyone is interested in reading on a Kindle or on an iPad, I have cobbled together files containing the older, public domain text (i.e., not the text by Tadié) into single .mobi and .epub files. I don't know if there's any place here I can upload them to provide them to anyone who's interested, but if you send me an email, I can send you a link to download them from my Dropbox folder.


message 18: by Kirk (new)

Kirk McElhearn Oh, and, by the way, if you want to buy any of the French editions, you should buy them from Amazon.fr. I think shipping is reasonable, and the overall price will be much less than from Amazon.com. I looked at some of the prices in the links above and they are quite simply shocking.


message 19: by Kirk (new)

Kirk McElhearn If anyone is an audiobook fan, you should consider that as well. Naxos is just about to finish releasing their complete Remembrance of Things Past, very well read by Neville Jason. In French, there's a wonderful edition on CD read by six different actors, from Editions Thélème. Unfortunately, both are a bit expensive, but if anyone's a member of Audible, you can get the seven volumes of the Naxos reading for one credit each.


message 20: by Marieke (new)

Marieke | 181 comments Wow, Kirk...thanks for the info about audible. I have a bunch of unused credits. I should start collecting the volumes now to augment my actual reading. :)


message 21: by Kirk (new)

Kirk McElhearn Marieke wrote: "Wow, Kirk...thanks for the info about audible. I have a bunch of unused credits. I should start collecting the volumes now to augment my actual reading. :)"

I think all but the last volume are available now. The final volume - and the limited complete set on 130 CDs - is to be released very soon. It's an excellent reading.


message 22: by Marieke (new)

Marieke | 181 comments wow: 130 CDs. i think if i were to buy the actual CDs, in addition to the sets of books and auxiliary reading material, i would need a whole wall in my house dedicated to all things Proust.


message 23: by Kirk (new)

Kirk McElhearn Marieke wrote: "wow: 130 CDs. i think if i were to buy the actual CDs, in addition to the sets of books and auxiliary reading material, i would need a whole wall in my house dedicated to all things Proust."

Yes, I have the set in French, and it's a box about two feet long. It's not available by download, so that was the only way to get it. My Proust library is obscenely large too...


message 24: by Kalliope (new)

Kalliope Kirk wrote: "I'd like to chime in on French editions. I live in France, and own several different editions.

The Gallimard Quarto edition, as mentioned above, is unwieldy, and the type is, well, unfriendly. It'..."


On the actual works I have the Folio (Gallimard) series of paperbacks bought years ago.. I have downloaded the Kindle by Humanis A la recherche du temps perdu (édition complète - 10 tomes, augmentée, illustrée et commentée)


message 25: by Kirk (new)

Kirk McElhearn Kalliope wrote: "Kirk wrote: "I'd like to chime in on French editions. I live in France, and own several different editions.

The Gallimard Quarto edition, as mentioned above, is unwieldy, and the type is, well, un..."


There are several Kindle editions like that. I found that, in one of them, the fonts are messed up, and I can't get them to display at the size I want. That's why I created my own files (see one of my posts above). If you want copies, just send me a message and I'll send you a link. I have both .mobi and .epub.


message 26: by Kirk (new)

Kirk McElhearn Naxos just posted a video today of Neville Jason discussing his reading of the complete Remembrance of Things Past:

http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/proust...


message 27: by Kalliope (new)

Kalliope There is an audio version in French, in case anyone wants to pay European prices for things...

http://www.amazon.fr/gp/product/28786...


message 28: by Kirk (new)

Kirk McElhearn Kalliope wrote: "There is an audio version in French, in case anyone wants to pay European prices for things...

http://www.amazon.fr/gp/product/28786......"


Yes, I listened to it. It is delightful. It made me realize just how "spoken" Proust's French is.


message 29: by Kalliope (new)

Kalliope Kirk wrote: "Kalliope wrote: "There is an audio version in French, in case anyone wants to pay European prices for things...

http://www.amazon.fr/gp/product/28786......"


Thank you.. it must be... all reviews give 5 stars.. I am trying to group potential Christmas present givers (family, of course) into a Syndication group and see if I can get it..


message 30: by Nick (new)

Nick Wellings | 322 comments One more book that I thought was nice, and a good find for anyone who comes across it is "Proust and His World" by William Sansom. Lots and lots of photos and repros/plates of precisely that, Proust's world of fin de siecle/belle epoque France, with detail of his life and times. A nice bit of background reading and context.


message 31: by Kalliope (new)

Kalliope Nick wrote: "One more book that I thought was nice, and a good find for anyone who comes across it is "Proust and His World" by William Sansom. Lots and lots of photos and repros/plates of precisely that, Prous..."

I just got it today. I found a cheap second hand copy. Lots of pictures but all in b&w.


message 32: by Martin (new)

Martin Gibbs | 105 comments I have the Davis on my Kindle, and the three-volume Vintage press editions should be at my door this afternoon :)

(Very jealous of Richard, who can read it in the original French!)


message 33: by Richard (last edited Oct 10, 2012 02:43PM) (new)

Richard Martin wrote: "I have the Davis on my Kindle, and the three-volume Vintage press editions should be at my door this afternoon :)

(Very jealous of Richard, who can read it in the original French!)"


That's good of you to say, but of the 8 or so French editions out there, I seem to have picked up the worst one. I will have to look into this soon and see what I can do about it. And nice to see you in the group, Martin!


message 34: by Jim (new)

Jim Richard wrote: "That's good of you to say, but of the 8 or so French editions out there, I seem to have picked up the worst one. I will have to look into this soon and see what I can do about it. And nice to see you in the group, Martin!..."

I bookmarked this version, Gallimard (Tadié), in case I find the courage to read a bit of French next year.

http://www.amazon.com/recherche-temps...

ISBN 978-2070724901

It seems to be a reasonable combination of price/edition. In Kirk's post #20 above, he gives good suggestions for French versions.


message 35: by Kalliope (new)

Kalliope I will be reading the Gallimard-Folio.. Cheap and I bought the whole lot years ago when I was living in Paris.


message 36: by Nick (last edited Oct 12, 2012 11:27AM) (new)

Nick Wellings | 322 comments Kalliope wrote: "Nick wrote: "One more book that I thought was nice, and a good find for anyone who comes across it is "Proust and His World" by William Sansom. Lots and lots of photos and repros/plates of precisel..."

Happy you found a copy! I hope you enjoy it.

On the subject of plates/repros and images, I was in Illiers-Combray two days ago, and a major feature in Aunt Leonie's house was a big picture exhibit in the attic: photos by Paul Nadar of many of Proust's associates and friends.

The images are in book form too, and the pictures/portraits themselves are wonderful.

http://www.amazon.com/World-Proust-se...

It sounds trite, but I was amazed how "real" these people looked. Too often,one only has small images to go by to give faces to names, a google image search here, or a tiny plate in a biography there. At the house, and in the book they are perfectly reproduced. I remarked how amazing Montesquieu looked. Perfectly poised, and arrogantly, effortlessly cultivated. My guide agreed and said he knew it too, and she couldn;t like him because of that.

Even if you do not subscribe to Painter's idea of perfect correspondences (i.e. Swann was Charles Hass, Odette Laure Haymann, Charlus = Montesquieu) the book is handy and handsomely done. I couldn't justify spending about 30 Euros for it, but it was a fine thing indeed. I bought a small postcard instead, and impressed upon my guide the necessity for her to read Pinter's screenplay (a work that I still maintain is utter perfection.) There was a copy in the bookshop there and she said she would, and I hope she does.


message 37: by Susanna (new)

Susanna Is Illiers-Combray a museum?


message 38: by Nick (new)

Nick Wellings | 322 comments There is a museum in Illiers-Combray. Illiers-Combray is not quite a museum, but a little town. Proust and family used to go there for summers. My guide told me he probably stayed there no more than 6 times, until adolescence.

http://marcelproust.pagesperso-orange...

It belonged to to Proust's uncle Amiot. Elements of it are in the book, e.g. there's a gate with a bell, it does lead to a walk by the Vivonne/Loir, complete with a Hawthorn path at one side (alas, no glimpse of Gilberte) but the garden is much smaller than one would imagine, if one took the descriptions of Combray as literal.

There is a path for the Guermantes way, it is about 4/5km long from the town centre I was told (did not manage to walk it.) The model for Tansonville is not truly on the "Swann's Way" path they map out IIRC. And the insipiration for the Guermantes house is actually a lot of miles from Illiers Combray.

As with everything his life and his characters) Proust chopped and changed, ammended where necessary, invented too, melded and crafted so that no one place or person can truly said to be a direct analogue for a place or person in the book. Truth be told, his childhood in Auteuil would also have shaped the Combray chapters very strongly.

The town itself is very sleepy, very provincial, I suggested to my guide, who agreed. It relies on its Proust association for tourism to help it along. As de Botton is eager to point out, those who hope for a lightbulb moment, who hope to find the magic of Combray as described may be slightly disappointed. (The final lines of Swann's Way come to mind here.)

The Pre-Catalan is however, deeply peaceful and beautiful. In Summer, I can imagine it being gorgeous.


message 39: by Kalliope (new)

Kalliope Nick wrote: "Kalliope wrote: "Nick wrote: "One more book that I thought was nice, and a good find for anyone who comes across it is "Proust and His World" by William Sansom. Lots and lots of photos and repros/p..."

I also found a French edition of the World of Proust (Le Monde de Proust vu par Paul Nadar. I also found it second hand... And yes, it is wonderful to look through these photos because it makes it all so much more real.

The visit you describe to Illiers-Combray sounds idyllic. Thank you for sharing those memories.


message 40: by Martin (new)

Martin Gibbs | 105 comments I sometimes wish I'd learned French instead of (in addition to, rather) German, especially after visiting the site Nick posted. (Though one can write pretty German, it just takes a lot more effort).

In any case, I thought I had the Davis translation of Swann's Way. Turned out it was an older Montcrieff one, before the Kilmartin edits. I got 60% through that, then up to page 75 on the Vintage Press version. Today I bought the Davis edition... so, at last, I should be good to go.

Still, reading/re-reading this does not hurt a bit, since it is so engaging and absorbing.


message 41: by Kalliope (new)

Kalliope Nick wrote: "One more book that I thought was nice, and a good find for anyone who comes across it is "Proust and His World" by William Sansom. Lots and lots of photos and repros/plates of precisely that, Prous..."

I started it last night... I like the text also... very insightful in describing Proust as and excluded figure.


message 42: by Nick (new)

Nick Wellings | 322 comments Glad you have found a copy too, Kalliope. It really helps with the historical milleu/setting to see all the fancy dresses and smart suits, plus environs and locations. Resources like that can only help strengthen the power of the novel, for those who love detail and context. It brings that World of Proust's closer to us, and makes the distance a little less, the alien a little more familiar and real.

Quite a few texts like to situate Marcel with some kind of "World" reference! Sansom has "Proust and His World" March has "The Two Worlds of Marcel Proust" and of course there's Nadar's "Proust and His World". The book blurb for March's book suggests that it was one of the first engagements with the text from the critical perspective of US critic. Not sure if that is right, but it is a good little book. Certain ideas might be outdated by now (I think it invoked Freud a little, and asthma as neurasthenic symptom), but larger points succeed very well. Even has little points on where Proust doesn't quite make the grade, in March's opinion. The opening few words in the book makes it clear that March likes Proust lots :) Perhaps the "World" think is precisely because Proust was a little bit of an outsider. Certainly he was of his time, yet his works and insights seem timeless (if only perhaps because human nature is itself pretty stable from epoch to epoch!)


message 43: by Kalliope (new)

Kalliope Nick wrote: "Glad you have found a copy too, Kalliope. It really helps with the historical milleu/setting to see all the fancy dresses and smart suits, plus environs and locations. Resources like that can only ..."

Interesting comments. For the moment I have purchased enough Proust books. When I have read those, may consider adding new ones. I see in your profile that you are reading the Tadié bio. How is that?. I plan to read the Carter one but I also have the Tadié.


message 44: by Nick (last edited Oct 18, 2012 06:25AM) (new)

Nick Wellings | 322 comments Well, I am not a biography fan, too much I have to admit. I read Painter's bio and found it pretty tough going, but insightful at times. (This maybe why I liked White's so much as it is short and sweet).

Tadie is going ok though. I have just completed a fairly breezy section on P's school-life, from Condorcet up until he was 18. Previous sections on notable family members, the Weils and Prousts and Amiots.

I have yet to encounter any real problems with it, re: Tadie's standpoint/agenda, I was going to read Kirk's review on Amazon and see what his issues with the book were and then try and read it with those thoughts in mind. He is a far better read Proustian than I, and also French fluent, IIRC.

I asked my guide at Illiers Combray(Tante Leonie's House)if she had read it. She said she had tried and not got very far, and abandoned it, indicating to me that she felt she was having a very narrow viewpoint or set of ideas forced down into her, and disliked the book for that. Something along those lines! We then agreed that "Monsieur Proust" also suffers from that a little, as Celeste is so protective of her loved master.

I haven't been able to get a copy of Carter, they seem to be very much located in the USA. (I'm in England!)


message 45: by Kalliope (new)

Kalliope Nick wrote: "Well, I am not a biography fan, too much I have to admit. I read Painter's bio and found it pretty tough going, but insightful at times. (This maybe why I liked White's so much as it is short and s..."

Good to hear about the Tadié.

I am in Madrid. But I found the Carter in:

www.abebooks.com (in Spain it goes as www.iberlibro.com).

Bought it from a US seller for a total of Euros 20.- (16 + 4 shipping). A discarded library copy in good condition and it is a nice (fat) book.. nice paper and clear printing.


message 46: by Eugene (new)

Eugene | 479 comments I've been waiting...and from Audible.com I just bought Proust's Time Regained (unabridged) V7 translated by Stephen Hudson (Sydney Schiff); I also have recordings of the unabridged Moncrieff translations, the 1st 2 volumes read by John Rowe & the remaining 5 read by Neville Jason, of Remembrance of Things Past.

On Wednesday I drive 5 hours and listen.


message 47: by Jason (new)

Jason (ancatdubh2) Bill, there are links in Message 1 to each of the volumes plus an additional link for the complete box set, all of which are available from Amazon.


message 48: by [deleted user] (new)

Bill, if you look at the first post in this thread you'll see the paper volumes to buy.


message 49: by [deleted user] (new)

Jason: snap! You beat me to it :)


message 50: by Jason (new)

Jason (ancatdubh2) I am too juiced!


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