Books by Proust

  • À la recherche du temps perdu
    • English: In Search of Lost Time, Remembrance of Things Past
    • Volume 1: Du côté de chez Swann
      • English: Swann's Way, The Way by Swann's
    • Volume 2: À l'ombre de jeunes filles en fleurs
      • English: Within a Budding Grove, In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower
    • Volume 3: Le Côté de Guermantes
      • English: The Guermantes Way
    • Volume 4: Sodome et Gomorrhe
      • English: Sodom and Gomorrah, Cities of the Plain
    • Volume 5: La Prisonnière
      • English: The Prisoner, The Captive
    • Volume 6: Albertine disparue or La Fugitive
      • English: The Fugitive, The Sweet Cheat Gone
    • Volume 7: Le Temps retrouvé
      • English: Time Regained, The Past Recaptured, Finding Time Again
    • Recommended translations:
      • I can recommend every available translation of the Recherche with the following observations: Lydia Davis's translation of Swann's Way (Allen Lane/Viking Penguin) is particularly good at communicating the verve and precision of Proust's prose, a quality often lost in other renditions; James Grieve's translation of In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower (Allen Lane/Viking Penguin), on the other hand, takes too many liberties and sometimes even distorts the sense of Proust's French. That said, I always suggest that prospective readers visit their local bookstore, if possible, to compare passages and to choose the translation that best resonates with them.

    • Remembrance of Things Past. Trans. C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin. New York: Random House, 1981.
      3 Tomes.
      • C.K. Scott Moncrieff rendered the title of Proust's novel as Remembrance of Things Past, a phrase taken from the second line of Shakespeare's Sonnet XXX. By the time he died in 1930 Moncrieff had translated all but the final volume of the novel, which was initially translated by Stephen Hudson (a pseudonym of Sydney Schiff), and then by Frederick Blossom in the U.S. (1932) and by Andreas Mayor in the U.K. (1970). However, there were numerous errors in the French edition upon which Montcrieff based his translation; Beckett called it "abominable." In 1954 the Bibliothéque de la Pléiade published a corrected and definitive edition of the novel (3 tomes), and in 1981 Terence Kilmartin published a revision of Moncrieff's translation based on this edition (although Mayor based his translation of the final volume of the novel on the definitive French edition, Kilmartin saw fit to make some minor corrections). The Moncrieff/Kilmartin/Mayor translation is still available in individual volumes or in a boxed set in both paperback and hardbound formats.

    • In Search of Lost Time. New York: Modern Library, 1992-93. 6 Tomes.
      • In 1987 the Pléiade published a still-more-definitive edition (4 tomes). Based on this edition D.J. Enright revised the Moncrieff/Kilmartin translation, and rendered the title more accurately (although perhaps less poetically) as In Search of Lost Time. Each volume includes a handful of endnotes and some contain alternative versions of some of the novel's episodes.

    • In Search of Lost Time. Great Britain: Allen Lane, 2002. 6 Tomes; New York: Viking Penguin, 2003. 4 Tomes (incomplete).
      • This translation was carried out by seven different translators—one per volume—under the editorial direction of Christopher Prendergast. It, too, is based on the 1987 still-more-definitive French edition. The complete translation is only available in Canada and the U.K. at the present time; due to copyright issues only volumes 1-4 are to be published in the U.S. until the next decade. Each volume contains several pages of endnotes aimed at explaining many of the cultural references likely lost on modern readers. Reviewed by The Observer.

    • Albertine Gone Trans. Terence Kilmartin. London: Chatto & Windus, 1989. Translation of Albertine disparue Paris: Grasset, 1987.
      • After the death in 1986 of Proust's niece, Suzy Mante-Proust, her son-in-law discovered among her papers a typescript of Volume 6 of the Recherche, corrected and annotated by Proust. Robert Proust had prepared the posthumous publication of this volume based on an earlier handwritten manuscript, and the two defintive French editions followed suit. The late changes Proust made include a small crucial detail and the deletion of approximately 150 pages. The English translation is currently out of print.

    • Remembrance of Things Past. Adapted by Stéphane Heuet. France: Nantier Beall Minoustchine Publishing.
      • These "graphic novels" caused some debate in France when they were published but met with much commercial success.
  • Other Writings
  • Jean Santeuil.
    • Proust worked on this novel, which adumbrates many of the themes to be later included in the Recherche, between 1895 and 1900; it remains episodic and unfinished. It was first published in 1952, and is currently out of print in English. An episode known in Engish as "Impressions Regained" and in French as "Souvenirs de la mer devant le lac de Genève" describes involuntary memory in a manner much more clearly, although rather less poetically, than in the Recherche. As such, the episode may be of particular interest, so I have made a copy of it available for download here (21KB).

  • On Reading Ruskin. New Haven, Yale UP, 1987.
    • This volume collects the Prefaces and selected notes Proust wrote to his translations of two of John Ruskin's essays, "The Bible of Amiens" and "Sesame and Lilies." Proust's Preface to the latter is known as "On Reading" ["Sur la lecteur"] and is considered an important "avant-texte" to the Recherche. In it, Proust meditates on reading and the relationship between readers and books, and concludes with an anticipation of involuntary memory.

  • The Complete Stories of Marcel Proust. Maryland: Coopers Square Press, 2001.
    • This new translation of Proust's early collection of short stories, Les plaisirs et les jours, also contains some stories never before published in English.

  • Marcel Proust : On Art and Literature 1896-1919. New York: Carrol & Graf, 1997.
    • A collection of Proust's essays on painters and other writers. This volume also contains selections from "Contre Saint-Beuve," a work that is both an essay, autobiography, and fiction. Begun in 1908 (possibily 1907), this text metamorphosed into the Recherche.

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