Remembrance of Things Past is one of the monuments of 20th-century literature. Neville Jason’s widely praised abridged version has rightly become an audiobook landmark and now, upon numerous requests, he is recording the whole work unabridged which, when complete, will run for some 140 hours.
The Guermantes Way is the third of seven volumes. The narrator penetrates the inner sanctum of Paris high society and falls in love with the fascinating Duchesse de Guermantes. Proust describes vividly the struggles for political, social, and sexual supremacy played out beneath a veneer of elegant manners. He also finds himself pursued by the predatory Baron de Charlus.
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Makes a very big reading project a breeze!
This is the best of the series of seven books now known as Proust's "In Search of Lost Time." Unfortunately, only five of the seven volumes have beed recorded on NAXOS in an unabridged form. The series will be completed soon, I imagine, but the main frustration altogether resides in the sad fact that after all is completed, it will be of an outdated translation by Scott Moncrieff which, however excellent and widely celebrated, is inferior in some ways to the brand new translations published in England by PENGUIN BOOKS (General Editor Christopher Pendergast) and which, because of a US Random House copyright, are NOT FOR SALE [at least the last four volumes are not] in the United States. One has to explore various Internet bookstores to find them in this country. Furthermore, the audiobook is the UNCORRECTED C.K. Scott Moncrieff version which was famously brought up to date several years ago. Sigh! So, as good as this recording is, MR NEVILLE JASON is exhausting himself on outdated material -- 2,500,000 words of it before he is finished. One notes that the first audiobook in the series is called THE REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST for which the newer translation is given as IN SEARCH OF LOST TIME. Right away the reader sees the problem. However, this book -- THE GUERMANTES WAY -- is wonderful to listen to, and some generation (my grandmother's perhaps) was delighted with this translation which -- indeed -- was the only one in English and made the book famous in the English speaking world.
The book is packed with memorable incidents. The "classy" party scenes, of course, are always to be looked forward to since Proust's commentary is hilariously satirical. Most people do not realize that Proust can be very, very funny -- and in a very cutting manner as well.
This man is SUPERB -- and he makes everything totally comprehensible. Long Proustian sentences I cannot figure out when reading them on paper come over with total clarity and sense.
Yes. I am 71 years old and am thrilled to be reading this masterpiece at long last. I am glad I skipped it in my 20s and 30s, however; it's far too cynical in its world views. Nothing is as it seems at first! I would have been disillusioned for my entire life! Proust turns the world upside down. And did I say there's an awful lot of sex in it? Nobody warned me about that.
I am delighted with the recording -- but sorry the newer translations will likely not be recorded in my lifetime. Proust is easier to listen to than to read, so the audiobook is a blessing. I did, by the way, order the new print translations from England and have had fun comparing them with this one.
- David E. Gregson
Carries Proust Readers Deeper into Memory/Society