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Marcel Proust Was Almost Impossible to Edit (lithub.com)
17 points by lermontov 10 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 6 comments

I read it in the original, and I found the only way to do it was to read it for the impression it creates.

His sentences are long, and almost devoid of action sometimes, but you get used to reading in this way.

The payoff is that he had stunning insights into human nature (today we'd say psychology I guess) that stay with you for years.


On croit que selon son désir on changera autour de soi les choses, on le croit parce que, hors de là, on ne voit aucune solution favorable. On ne pense pas à celle qui se produit le plus souvent et qui est favorable aussi : nous n’arrivons pas à changer les choses selon notre désir, mais peu à peu notre désir change. La situation que nous espérions changer parce qu’elle nous était insupportable nous devient indifférente. Nous n’avons pas pu surmonter l’obstacle, comme nous le voulions absolument, mais la vie nous l’a fait tourner, dépasser, et c’est à peine alors si en nous retournant vers le lointain du passé nous pouvons l’apercevoir, tant il est devenu imperceptible.

I never read Scott Moncrieff unmodified. The Terence Gilmartin penguin edition (it has been superceded by now I think) was my exemplar.

Gilmartin said that Moncreiff did some real damage to the prose, by being over-precious with his translation. That said, I suspect Proust is like Cervantes: if you don't read the original, its a pale shadow compared to the real thing.

I did like the Gilmartin Penguin. I liked his copious footnotes, and alternate chapter stuff.

And like others, I've done spoilers on friends for this book so I won't say anything. Except I think Jeremy Irons was well cast.

I had to stop reading this article when the first paragraph spoiled one of the character deaths in The Prisoner.

Wait, there's a NEW #2?!?!

Indeed, and YOU are, #2!

Who is #1?

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