Item description for Time Regained (Naxos Audio) by Marcel Proust...
Time Regained, the final volume of In Search of Lost Time, begins in the bleak and uncertain years of World War I. Years later, after the wars end, Prousts narrator returns to Paris and reflects on time, reality, jealousy, artistic creation, and the raw material of literaturehis past life. This Modern Library edition also includes the indispensable Guide to Proust, compiled by Terence Kilmartin and revised by Joanna Kilmartin.
For this authoritative English-language edition, D. J. Enright has revised the late Terence Kilmartins acclaimed reworking of C. K. Scott Moncrieffs translation to take into account the new definitive French editions of la recherch du temps perdu (the final volume of these new editions was published by the Bibliothque de la Pliade in 1989).
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Marcel Proust was born in the Parisian suburb of Auteuil on July 10, 1871. His father, Adrien Proust, was a doctor celebrated for his work in epidemiology; his mother, Jeanne Weil, was a stockbroker's daughter of Jewish descent. He lived as achild in the family home on Boulevard Malesherbes in Paris, but spent vacations with his aunt and uncle in the town of Illiers near Chartres, where the Prousts had lived for generations and which became the model for the Combray of his great novel. (In recent years it was officially renamed Illiers-Combray.) Sickly from birth, Marcel was subject from the age of nine to violent attacks of asthma, and although he did a year of military service as a young man and studied law and political science, his invalidism disqualified him from an active professional life. During the 1890s Proust contributed sketches to Le Figaro and to a short-lived magazine, Le Banquet, founded by some of his school friends in 1892. Pleasures and Days, a collection of his stories, essays, and poems, was published in 1896. In his youth Proust led an active social life, penetrating the highest circles of wealth and aristocracy. Artistically and intellectually, his influences included the aesthetic criticism of John Ruskin, the philosophy of Henri Bergson, the music of Wagner, and the fiction of Anatole France (on whom he modeled his character Bergotte). An affair begun in 1894 with the composer and pianist Reynaldo Hahn marked the beginning of Proust's often anguished acknowledgment of his homosexuality. Following the publication of Emile Zola's letter in defense of Colonel Dreyfus in 1898, Proust became 'the first Dreyfusard, ' as he later phrased it. By the time Dreyfus was finally vindicated of charges of treason, Proust's social circles had been torn apart by the anti-Semitism and political hatreds stirred up by the affair. Proust was very attached to his mother, and after her death in 1905 he spent some time in a sanitorium. His health worsened progressively, and he withdrew almost completely from society and devoted himself to writing. Proust's early work had done nothing to establish his reputation as a major writer. In an unfinished novel, Jean Santeuil (not published until 1952), he laid some of the groundwork for In Search of Lost Time, and in Against Sainte-Beuve, written in 1908-09, he stated as his aesthetic credo: 'A book is the product of a different self from the one we manifest in our habits, in society, in our vices. If we mean to try to understand this self it is only in our inmost depths, by endeavoring to reconstruct it there, that the quest can be achieved.' He appears to have begun work on his long masterpiece sometime around 1908, and the first volume, Swann's Way, was published in 1913.
In 1919 the second volume, Within a Budding Grove, won the Goncourt Prize, bringing Proust great and instantaneous fame. Two subsequent sections--The Guermantes Way (1920-21) and Sodom and Gomorrah (1921)--appeared in his lifetime. (Of the depiction of homosexuality in the latter, his friend Andre Gide complained: 'Will you never portray this form of Eros for us in the aspect of youth and beauty?') The remaining volumes were published following Proust's death on November 18, 1922: The Captive in 1923, The Fugitive in 1925, and Time Regained in 1927."
Marcel Proust lived in Auteuil. Marcel Proust was born in 1871 and died in 1922.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Time Regained (Naxos Audio)?
On Its Own Plane Jun 30, 2006
The final installment of Proust's grand `a la recherche du temps perdu' is a masterful and eloquent meditation on art, on the loss of love, and on the complex and enigmatic quality of experiencing relationships over the course of a lifetime. This is the period, the final breath of literary genius from the great Marcel Proust, who devoted his life to this great novel.
In `Time Regained,' the reader is permitted an extraordinary prolegomena on the writer's craft, a self-reflexive exposition of the literary form that prefigures post-modernity and the works of Brecht, Breton, Beckett, and all the rest of them. Proust creates a work that is more exacting, more precise and perspicacious than any work of aesthetic philosophy in the western tradition. He discloses that the art of writing is, in its essence, an act or translation.The artistic content is already contained within the mind and soul of the artist and the act of writing is an act of transporting the content to form.
This is a novel about time, and it requires time to read. In this way, Proust the reader develops a relationship with the work within the register of a temporal horizon, which mirrors the register of temporality internal to the characters and unfolding of the fictional universe that Proust has created. It is a joy to read.
Also included in this volume is Kilmartin's guide to Proust, a summation of all the central characters, events, and allusions in a la recherché for readers who (inevitably) get lost in Proust's complex literary web.
look for the new translation! Mar 17, 2005
Perhaps the most exciting publishing event of the century so far is the new translation of "In Search of Lost Time," as it is now (and more accurately) called. Finding the last two volumes is a bit of a chore, but search for ISBN 0141180366 or "Prendergast Proust" or "Ian Patterson" on this site. I haven't read it, but I am impressed enough by the first two volumes in this new translations that I have ordered the final two from England, where they are available in hardcover. Viking has not yet published them in the U.S. (and may not, in my lifetime) but this site sells the paperbacks of the British Penguin edition. They are somewhat misleadingly titled "In Search of Lost Time," which is the series title. This volume is actually titled "Finding Time Again," and the translator is Ian Patterson. (Each book has its own translator, for a total of seven. Vol. 5 contains two books and features two translators.)
I give this Modern Library edition only four stars because I am convinced that the new translation is superior. Indeed, it's not entirely clear to me who the translator is, in this case; evidently not Fred Blossom, who did the original English translation when Scott-Montcrief died before finishing the work.
Literary peerlessness Feb 27, 2005
"Time Regained" is a dark ending to the "In Search of Lost Time" cycle, as Proust, sickly like his fictional narrator, unknowingly nears the end of his own life but senses its imminence. France, like the most of the rest of the world, is now a very different place. The Dreyfus affair is receding into the past under the shadow of the new war that has descended upon Europe, with Germany having ravaged Belgium and threatening to destroy London and Paris.
Many of the people with whom Marcel has associated throughout his life and whom we came to know so intimately through the pages of his chronicle are now dead, whether by disease, accident, old age, or the war. Those among the living include the Baron de Charlus, who sympathizes with the Germans and frequents a hotel that serves as a male brothel; Bloch, who has de-Judaicized his name and has assumed an English chic; and Odette and her daughter Gilberte, the latter now herself a mother, who have not so gracefully weathered the effects of aging.
Marcel himself is now an adult of at least middle age, and, as far as he is concerned, still no closer to achieving his goal of becoming a writer as he was in his youth. He has, however, started writing articles and comes to realize, as he reflects on the course of his life, that the intricate web of contacts he has made can serve as grist for his literary mill, should he decide in his waning days to take up a pen and make some contribution to letters. And, of course, over the past four thousand pages that is exactly what his author has done. Marcel muses on Time (capitalization intended), memory, and dreams as necessary elements in the creation of art, a product of so much personal pain and suffering that death can seem like a welcome reprieve.
Judging the novel as a whole now that I've finished all six volumes, I affirm that there is nothing like it, or even close to it, in literature; like "Moby Dick" or "Don Quixote" it resides in its own impenetrable legendary world of oneness. In my review of "Swann's Way," I compared Proust to Henry James, but I see now that I was way off the mark. James writes like he's throwing his weight around, imperiously demanding intellectual respect and forcing his reader into submission with his intentionally inscrutable compositions; Proust's prose, conversely, calmly and warmly invites the reader into Marcel's society and caresses him with the most delicate sensations and deepest emotions. Proust is closer to Henry Adams than he is to Henry James, but even this attempted juxtaposition is buffered by a wide margin.
Proust's style is so ornate that it is the most difficult of any writer's to describe, yet paradoxically there is nothing affected about it; he is quite possibly the most unpretentious writer in literature. He never tries to impress the reader with his erudition, even though he evidently has much, or make himself out to be something he's not; one gets the sense that what he writes is exactly what and how he thinks, as incredible as that seems. He uses humor without trying to be a comedian, sorrow without trying to be a tragedian. He is employing language simply to illustrate life and the world, and I think language has no higher calling than that.
***** May 27, 2004
A brilliant closing volume to the novel. It brings back the lyricism of the first two volumes. I thought in the volumes in between some of that earlier lyricism was sacrificed to the bitchiness of Proust's tone toward the aristocracy he was doubtless jealous of, and his askew view of love that stemmed from his obvious anxieties about having been homosexual. But the early lyrcism and charm of the first two volumes is largely revived in this final volume. And anyone interested in writing, as anyone who makes it to this final volume doubtless is, Proust's passages on the art of writing make rewarding reading. The obvious flaws are that some characters who'd earlier "died" show up alive in this volume. Couples who had numerous children in earlier volumes show up in this volume having only one child; Marcel (the narrator) recognizes people and then subsequently, in the same scene, doesn't recognize them. I have NOOO idea why some editor didn't knock out these discrepancies and tighten the text. It really seems silly to me to be SOOO faithful to Proust's final manuscript as to include glaring errors. Proust was rewriting when he died. If he'd lived he would have corrected these errors and I think his intention should have been honored. But I'm still giving it five stars, since overall the experience of reading this last volume is of reading something truly brilliant.
"Life can be realised within the confines of a book"-Proust Jul 24, 2003
The melancholy atmosphere that pervaded the close of The Fugitive is carried over into this final part of Proust's huge work. Whereas, in the preceding part, Marcel laments the loss of Albertine and his changed relationship with his long time friend, Saint Loup, the author's concerns are now much greater. France is in the midst of World War I, Paris experiencing night time air raids; and the distinction between the Guermantes' Way and Swann's Way has become even more blurred as both Gilberte, the daughter of a courtesan, and Mme. Verdurin, the insufferable salon hostess, have become members of the mystic Guermantes family. Furthermore, Saint Loup is killed in action and Marcel's hometown is occupied by the Germans. But in spite of the gravity of the events surrounding him, Marcel becomes even more self-absorbed. He still holds onto his drean of becoming a writer, but this desire begins to wane as he becomes convinced that he has neither the temperament, the knowledge nor the fortitude to follow a literary career. Then the pivotal event of the whole novel takes place: he is invited to a matinee at the new home of the Prince de Guermantes.
While waiting in an anteroom for admission to the Guermantes' reception, the author is beset by a series of sensory experiences that bring back several happy memories from his past. These recollections, both powerful and joyous, convince him that he has the ability to undertake a literary career, to be able to communicate those ecstatic moments from the past to readers of the present day. His melancholy lifted, he enters the reception to discover that his recent epiphany is only bolstered by what he finds. All around him are the decaying remnants of a fast fading aristocracy. Many of the characters that have been introduced to the reader throughout the course of the novel are met again, but now in the final years of their lives: the proud Charlus, now an obsequious old man; the Duc de Guermantes, described as a "magnificent ruin"; Gilberte, now confused with her aging mother; even Marcel becomes aware that he, too, is quickly getting old. But now seeing things with an artist's eye, Marcel becomes aware that each of these characters, as well as all those people remembered from his life, are "like giants plunged into the years, [touching] the distant epochs through which they have lived, between which so many days have come to range themeselves - in Time." Marcel's goal is clear. He will spend the rest of his life carefully bringing these giants back to life. In other words, he is ready to embark on the huge task of writing the book that the reader has just finished reading.
This part of the novel was published five years after the author's death and suffers from a lack of editing. There are many ellipses, contradictions, and time and place juxtapostion mistakes, errors that Proust would surely have tidied up if he had lived to see his work published in full. But these are paltry criticisms wthen compared to the brilliance of the total work. Unfortunately, Proust is little read these days, and many of those who attempt to read the novel are motivated by the challenge of a literary marathon more than from an awareness of the intrinsic value of the work (as I was). But regardless of the motivation, the effort (and it is an effort) is totally rewarding as the reader sees in Proust's world reflections of his own. It took me a part of seven years to read the complete novel, a period of time in which Proust's search for lost time and my own reminiscences often became linked together as the author's characters shared my own thoughts regarding things past, the specious present, and the eventual fate that awaits us all.
Kilmartin's A Guide to Proust, which is included in this volume is well worth the price of the book by itself. The guide consists of four distinct inexes to Proust's novel: characters, historical persons, places and themes. The scholarship that went into compliling these indexes is outstanding and makes it possible for the reader to spend several years (if he so wishes) in working his way through the novel without losing track of the hundreds of characters and personages included therein. One reviewer remarked, "buy this volume first"; I would only modify this advice by suggesting that the prospective reader get this volume when he purchases Swann's Way.