À la recherche du temps perdu
English: In Search of Lost Time, Remembrance of
Volume 1: Du côté de chez Swann
English: Swann's Way, The Way by
Volume 2: À l'ombre de jeunes filles en
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
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
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.
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.
Albertine Gone Trans. Terence
Kilmartin. London: Chatto & Windus, 1989.
Albertine disparue Paris: Grasset,
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.
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
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