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Swanns Way (Modern Classics)

By Marcel Proust & Neville Jason (Narrator)
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Item description for Swanns Way (Modern Classics) by Marcel Proust & Neville Jason...

The transmutation of sensation into sentiment, the ebb tide of memory, waves of emotion such as desire, jealousy, and artistic euphoria--this is the material of this enormous and yet singularly light and translucid work.


In the overture to Swann's Way, the themes of the whole of In Search of Lost Time are introduced, and the narrator's childhood in Paris and Combray is recalled, mostmemorably in the evocation of the famous maternal good-night kiss. Therecollection of the narrator's love for Swann's daughter Gilberte leads to an accountof Swann's passion for Odette and the rise of the nouveaux riches Verdurins.

The final volume of a new, definitive text of A la recherche du temps perdu was published by the Bibliotheque de la Pleiade in 1989. For this authoritative English-language edition, D. J. Enright has revised the late Terence Kilmartin's acclaimed reworking of C. K. Scott Moncrieff's translation to take into account the new French editions.

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Item Specifications...

Format: Abridged,   Audiobook
Studio: Naxos Of America+inc
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 5.5" Height: 5"
Weight:   0.4 lbs.
Binding  CD
Publisher   Naxos Of America+inc
ISBN  9626340533  
ISBN13  9789626340530  

Availability  0 units.

More About Marcel Proust & Neville Jason

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Richard Howard s translation of The Charterhouse of Parma for the Modern Library was a national bestseller. Winner of numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, and recipient of a MacArthur genius grant, he lives in New York City."

Marcel Proust lived in Auteuil. Marcel Proust was born in 1871 and died in 1922.

Marcel Proust has published or released items in the following series...
  1. In Search of Lost Time
  2. Modern Library (Paperback)
  3. Penguin Books: Great Ideas
  4. Proust Complete

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Product Categories

1Books > Audio CDs > Literature & Fiction > Classics
2Books > Audio CDs > Literature & Fiction > General
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Authors, A-Z > ( P ) > Proust, Marcel
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Classics
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Classics
6Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
7Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Literary
8Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Swanns Way (Modern Classics)?

note well which translation you're buying  Jun 14, 2008
Let me say first off that this site has mixed up the Proust translations. I am looking at the Kindle e-book edition of the Modern Library translation of Swann's Way, published in 2000, yet the "publisher's note" speaks of the newer translation by Lydia Davis, which Penguin published in the U.S. in 2003. (If this reader's review migrates to the paper editions, please ignore it.)

I see that multiple versions of Swann's Way are available as Kindle e-books. Beware! All except this Modern Library edition are public-domain uploads of the original Scott Moncrieff translation, which is not nearly as good, nor as accurate, as the much-revised version edited by Kilmartin and Enright. (Or the Lydia Davis translation from Penguin.) Among those books offered right now as Kindle editions, buy only the Modern Library version with Proust looking soulful on the cover (well, he always looks soulful!) and a vertical band down the right side with the title.

And here is my take on the dueling translations: The Fourteen-Minute Marcel Proust: Everyone's guide to the greatest novel ever written -- and again, note that it is a Kindle e-book.

Blue skies! -- Dan Ford
The exquisite dissection of ordinary moments...  May 17, 2008
*Swann's Way* is a difficult novel to recommend unreservedly. Not because it isn't a beautiful and affecting masterpiece, but because it's inevitably the sort of novel that--by its very nature--is not everyone's cup of tea. A novel that begins with a 60+ page riff on a man falling asleep and recalling the drama surrounding his mother's goodnight kiss may be enough to turn off even your most enthusiastic fan of one of Flaubert's potboilers. On the other hand, for anyone who appreciates the sensual, visual, and musical possibilities of language and the infinite psychological subtleties revealed in the gimlet-eyed scrutiny of self and others there are few--if any--novelists that top Proust or novels more spellbindingly beautiful than *Swann's Way.*

The first of Proust's legendary six-volume epic, *In Search of Lost Time,* *Swann's Way* actually consists of three distinctly separate but closely linked stories--the narrator's famous recollection of his childhood; the tortured and scandalous love affair between Charles Swann and the courtesan Odette de Crecy; and the narrator's later schoolboy crush on Swann and Odette's willful daughter, Gilberte. In each section, Proust's analysis of the foibles, passions, and disappointments of his dramatis personae is so exact, so incisive there hardly seems anything left worth saying about the topics he turns his surgical eye and sets his pen to dissect. His observation of people in society--their vanity, snobbishness, and petty cruelty--are wickedly amusing, devastatingly accurate, and, on rarer occasions, touching. No better account of the vicissitudes, illusions, and degradations of love exists in all of literature than the section entitled *Swann in Love.* Anyone who's ever been in love will instantly recognize himself with wry amusement and cringing embarrassment in Swann's agonizing travails.

The ability to "fool" ourselves into thinking that what we love--whether a person, place, or time--lies somewhere "out there" as opposed to within ourselves is the main theme of the final section, *Place-Names. The Name* but it's also one that permeates the entire book. "The memory of a particular image is but the regret for a particular moment." In a series of novels that goes under the general title *In Search of Lost Time* this epigram is indicative of the bittersweet and paradoxical nature of Proust's project--the attempt to find in memory and to recapture in literature what is gone forever even if it never existed apart from our consciousness in the first place.
Swann's Way  Jul 15, 2007
The product and the narration is very well done. Unfortunately, I found that Proust is just not for me.
Hmmm....Will it get any better than this?  Mar 7, 2007
So i finally made the commitment to reading Proust's In Search of Lost Time. I've been contemplating this for years, and this spring i have the time so i've excitedly decided to forge what will be a memorable relationship with the author and the text.

But geez, am i DISAPPOINTED with the first "installment"!!! I'm usually an avid reader of European classics, and although i wasn't expecting Proust to be thrilling, i guess i didn't realize that the work was completely plotless.

I have to stop and remind myself (lest i give up?) that i am reading for the full experience rather than instant gratification, so i'm going to doggedly push on, and read something "fun" like Waugh or Vonnegut between each of the 6 books of I.S.O.L.T...

On a postive note, Proust's unique style allows the reader's mind to wander with the narrator, so i honestly can't say that i was "bored". It is also interesting that Proust is so often right on target about the human psyche and about society, when he, an invalid, was himself removed from it for much of his life.

Finally, Swann's Way is, let's face it, a moderately thick book. Without plot, you'd think that it would be a slow and dragging read. However, his long sentences somehow propel the reader forward to the next interesting speculation or to the next social event, and once again, his style is such that we become involved in the character's life....what will be the next step in Swann and Odette's relationship?

Although i have mixed feelings about the start of my Proustian journey, I console myself with his notions of time. The way we feel and think about something while we are in the midst of it may differ greatly from the way we feel and think about it once we are removed from it. Perspective is altered by distance (and memory, imagine that...). Perhaps once i finish the work in its entirety the pieces will all come together and there will be a cumulative gain. If nothing else, there will be a sense of accomplishment!
Fabulous Writing But Not A Novel: A Lengthy Narrative On Life  Feb 3, 2007
In search of Lost Time is regarded by many as a key work of modern literature, bridging ideas from the 19th and 20th centuries. Proust is often compared to Joyce and Kafka.

This is revised translation of the early Moncrieff translation. That was the primary translation for the first 50 years after the first publication in French. The present work includes the later changes to the original French manuscripts made in 1954. These additions and changes were excluded in the first manuscript from Proust. The manuscript was revised in the Pleiade edit of 1954 to include all of Proust's final edits. Those edits, additions, and changes are now translated and revised by Enright.

There are three parts to Volume I:
- Combray (the town)
- Swann in Love (Swann is the family name of the narrator)
- Place-Names-The Name

Here is a question for the average reader: is this a novel? What is it? The present Volume I is 600 pages, and if you continue on after Volume I, you face another 5000 pages or so. It is not a novel and it is not a play or drama as one sees with Shakespeare; instead, it is a seemingly endless narrative. Should we be concerned with what it is? The answer is yes, because some will find Proust to be a tedious challenge while others will love him.

For example, Madam Bovary is a novel. It has a beginning, an end, clear characters who are good, evil, and indifferent. It takes place in 19th century French countryside as does Proust, and unlike Proust it is a gripping tale. The writing by Flaubert is flawless. The structure is perfect. That is a novel. I read all 500 pages of Madame Bovary in one day and was very entertained and impressed.

Proust's Volume I, by contrast, has taken me 12 months to read. Again, as with Flaubert, the prose is faultless and the details described are done exquisitely, but there is no plot, and it is not gripping. It is a series of memories or short sections. Almost by definition, these short pieces do not carry the drama of a well balanced novel. They are weakly linked together plus the writing is complicated by many characters, often relatives of the narrator. If you put the book down and start again you are momentarily lost. Some readers, and that includes myself, wonder why we continue.

Proust is part of our literary education and one can appreciate the interwoven snapshots of life, the beautiful descriptions of rural Combray, the characters of France, and the relatives in his family. It is an endless narrative about a man's life and those pieces of his life. It is a collection of memories. Here in Volume I we see three broad snapshots of one man's life; we escape to 19th century France, and we become part of a seemingly endless tale about the fine details of that life. If that interests you, then you will love Proust.

Only the most patient should read Proust. Be prepared for beautiful prose and French 19th century life.


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