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In Search of Lost Time: Swann's Way: A Graphic Novel PDF, ePub eBook

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In Search of Lost Time: Swann's Way: A Graphic Novel

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In Search of Lost Time: Swann's Way: A Graphic Novel PDF, ePub eBook Whether you are looking to brush up or sample for the first time, this graphic adaptation of In Search of Lost Time is the perfect introduction to Proust's masterpiece. "Proust was the greatest novelist of the twentieth century, just as Tolstoy was in the nineteenth," wrote Graham Greene. "For those who began to write at the end of the twenties or the beginning of the thirt Whether you are looking to brush up or sample for the first time, this graphic adaptation of In Search of Lost Time is the perfect introduction to Proust's masterpiece. "Proust was the greatest novelist of the twentieth century, just as Tolstoy was in the nineteenth," wrote Graham Greene. "For those who began to write at the end of the twenties or the beginning of the thirties, there were two great inescapable influences: Proust and Freud, who are mutually complementary." With its sweeping digressions into the past and reflections on the nature of memory, Proust's oceanic novel In Search of Lost Time looms over twentieth-century literature as one of the greatest, yet most endlessly challenging literary experiences. Influencing writers like Virginia Woolf and James Joyce, and even anticipating Albert Einstein in its philosophical explorations of space and time, In Search of Lost Time is a monumental achievement and a virtual rite of passage for any serious lover of literature. Now, in what renowned translator Arthur Goldhammer says might be "likened to a piano reduction of an orchestral score," the French illustrator Stéphane Heuet re-presents Proust in graphic form for anyone who has always dreamed of reading him but was put off by the sheer magnitude of the undertaking. This graphic adaptation reveals the fundamental architecture of Proust’s work while displaying a remarkable fidelity to his language as well as the novel's themes of time, art, and the elusiveness of memory. As Goldhammer writes in his introduction, the compression required by this kind of adaptation As Goldhammer writes in his introduction, "the reader new to Proust must attend closely, even in this compressed rendering, to the novel's circling rhythms and abrupt cross-cuts between different places and times. But this necessary attentiveness is abetted and facilitated by the compactness of the graphic format.” In this first volume, Swann's Way, the narrator Marcel, an aspiring writer, recalls his childhood when—in a now immortal moment in literature—the taste of a madeleine cake dipped in tea unleashes a torrent of memories about his family’s country home in the town of Combray. Here, Heuet and Goldhammer use Proust's own famously rich and labyrinthine sentences and discerning observations to render Combray like never before. From the water lillies of the Vivonne to the steeple and stained glass of the town church, Proust's language provides the blueprint for Heuet's illustrations. Heuet and Goldhammer also capture Proust's humor, wit, and sometimes scathing portrayals of Combray's many memorable inhabitants, like the lovelorn Charles Swann and the object of his affection and torment, Odette de Crécy; Swann's daughter Gilberte; local aristocrat the Duchesse de Guermantes; the narrator's uncle Adolphe; and the hypochondriac Aunt Léonie. Including a Proust family tree, a glossary of terms, and a map of Paris, this graphic adaptation is a surprising and useful companion piece to Proust’s masterpiece for both the initiated and those seeking an introduction.

30 review for In Search of Lost Time: Swann's Way: A Graphic Novel

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    this is the absolute only way I am ever going to read Proust

  2. 5 out of 5

    Brierly

    Imagine an entire orchestra reduced to a single piano. That is the best way to explain a graphic adaptation of Swann's Way. I am in my final week of my English M.A. and thought "what a great time to tackle Proust!" If anything, reading this version convinced me that À la recherche du temps perdu is well worth my time. There is a special place in my heart for graphic adaptations of classic literature. What a way to open up a previously inaccessible masterpiece.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Petra

    This is a wonderful, relaxing, entertaining and dreamy story. The graphics are amazing. They are detailed, wonderfully coloured, bring to them the feeling and intention of Proust's words. The graphics of the longer descriptive sections of Swann's Way are remarkably done and take you through what would have read as long passages and showing the detail and beauty of what Proust was describing. Throughout, Proust's words are quoted verbatim with Stephanie Heuet's words between them Her words are in This is a wonderful, relaxing, entertaining and dreamy story. The graphics are amazing. They are detailed, wonderfully coloured, bring to them the feeling and intention of Proust's words. The graphics of the longer descriptive sections of Swann's Way are remarkably done and take you through what would have read as long passages and showing the detail and beauty of what Proust was describing. Throughout, Proust's words are quoted verbatim with Stephanie Heuet's words between them Her words are in the style and feel of Proust, getting his thoughts and story into these pages while condensing his prose (as required in a graphic situation). While I would not recommend this as a replacement for reading Swann's Way, it is a good additional read or a refresher. It brings to the reader the memory of the beauty of Proust's prose while not losing the intent and beauty of the story. Highly recommended to those who have already read Swann's Way.

  4. 5 out of 5

    LillyBooks

    Many years ago I read Proust, the whole thing, as some sort of self-challenge. I remember that while reading it there were sentences, lengthy yes, but that were so beautiful and so profound I sighed longingly after them. However, here's the thing about Proust: I have no idea what it was about. It's all very vague and fractured, like a half-remembered dream. And this is not time talking; I felt that way right after reading it. There's madeleine cakes and neighbors and some Jewish elements and two Many years ago I read Proust, the whole thing, as some sort of self-challenge. I remember that while reading it there were sentences, lengthy yes, but that were so beautiful and so profound I sighed longingly after them. However, here's the thing about Proust: I have no idea what it was about. It's all very vague and fractured, like a half-remembered dream. And this is not time talking; I felt that way right after reading it. There's madeleine cakes and neighbors and some Jewish elements and two men in a barn somewhere and playing in the middle of Champs-Élysées and an unfortunate marriage, but I could not begin to tell you what order these events occurred in. I could also never figure out how old all these people where supposed to be. I thought it was me until I read Adam Gopnik's wonderful Paris to the Moon, and he talks about these exact issues. This wonderful - and beautiful- graphic novel solves many of those problems. I'm not normally a fan of abridged works - and, by necessity, that's what this is - but in this case it distills Proust down to his purest form. The beautiful language is kept intact, the most beautiful sentences included verbatim, but all the less-lovely and unnecessary bits are left out. You can see the action, see the age of the characters. It's simply brilliant. It's still not an easy read; even distilled Proust is still Proust. Look at it for the visuals alone, if nothing else. Almost every frame is a tiny work of art . . . the beauty of Paris, the beauty of famous works of art, the beauty of one's imagination, and, of course, the beauty of one's memories.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tom LA

    Did Not Finish. The art in general is beautiful, landscapes and architecture and objects. However, as odd as it sounds, I couldn't even read the panels because of the horrible way in which the characters are drawn, especially their faces and expressions. I’m serious, any 3 year old could probably do a better job than that. What happened? Is it a particular “style”? Who came up with that brilliant idea? I’m so puzzled. Also, far too much text for a graphic novel, splattered on the page in a heavy Did Not Finish. The art in general is beautiful, landscapes and architecture and objects. However, as odd as it sounds, I couldn't even read the panels because of the horrible way in which the characters are drawn, especially their faces and expressions. I’m serious, any 3 year old could probably do a better job than that. What happened? Is it a particular “style”? Who came up with that brilliant idea? I’m so puzzled. Also, far too much text for a graphic novel, splattered on the page in a heavy way. They should have made it more concise, or not done this at all.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    Read the subtitle before you start telling me what an amazing reader I am. Full disclosure here: It's a graphic novel of Proust's mega-tome. I must say that it fully satisfied my desire to read Proust. I got the tone of it, the way Proust zooms into one moment so that you experience it in all its real-life complexity. Graphic novels, I admit, aren't my favorite genre; too often, I find the text reads banally when combined with cartoonish pictures. That did not happen here, perhaps because the te Read the subtitle before you start telling me what an amazing reader I am. Full disclosure here: It's a graphic novel of Proust's mega-tome. I must say that it fully satisfied my desire to read Proust. I got the tone of it, the way Proust zooms into one moment so that you experience it in all its real-life complexity. Graphic novels, I admit, aren't my favorite genre; too often, I find the text reads banally when combined with cartoonish pictures. That did not happen here, perhaps because the text is too rich to be diluted in a graphic novel. I recommend it, then. I recommend it for those of us who don't want to spend several years of our lives reading a single albeit highly praised novel. I recommend it for those of us who want to see what all the fuss is about. I can't say if this little graphic novel is a good substitute for the real thing (since I haven't cracked the real thing) but it felt good enough for me.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nitya

    Clean, yet simultaneously rich illustrations, done in the ligne claire style, pioneered by Hergé. What I've been told is a fairly faithful and just rendition of the original. All the insight and ruminations that make Proust Proust. Almost makes me believe I might not need to read the original.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    So there's at least 3 different aspects of this work that can be reviewed. 1) Proust's original story, which I haven't read. I was hoping for this to be a way of kind of easing into it... Instead, between this and a conversation with a well-read coworker, I think I'll mentally remove it from the "someday, maybe, in my lifetime" list. Boring, mostly; confusing, sometimes. Lots of rambling. Very wordy. 2) The translation, which I guess is good enough? But I'm not familiar with other translations or So there's at least 3 different aspects of this work that can be reviewed. 1) Proust's original story, which I haven't read. I was hoping for this to be a way of kind of easing into it... Instead, between this and a conversation with a well-read coworker, I think I'll mentally remove it from the "someday, maybe, in my lifetime" list. Boring, mostly; confusing, sometimes. Lots of rambling. Very wordy. 2) The translation, which I guess is good enough? But I'm not familiar with other translations or the original French to accurately judge. I know it bothered me that a certain piece of a song is referred to as a "phrase" when I feel like "melody" (or refrain or something) would have suited better; but again, not being familiar with the source, I don't know if this is accurate to the French, either in literal translation or intended wording. 3) The art, which is technically fine and lovely-- streets and buildings are well-done, and there's some nice pages interposing various senses and memories together, but I couldn't stand the overly-simplified way the people were drawn. Everyone looks either cartoony or sort of ugly. The color palette is a sort of faded, watercolor-y style with stark black lines to outline everything, and that's again, technically fine, but it's not to my taste. Additionally, I really appreciate when graphic novel artists actually take advantage of the form to add to the story rather than simply attaching pictures to words like a glorified childrens' book. Now, a lot of this story is the narrator rambling on and on and people talking to each other interminably, which could make it hard to illustrate interestingly. And there is so very much narration--which, it occurs to me, perhaps suggests that this just wasn't a good choice to turn into a graphic novel in the first place. Alternately, it commits the sin of trying to stay too close to the original material when it needed, e.g. images progressively more complex to mimic the complex sentences found in Proust's telling. (Maybe some judicious editing to just drop some parts....) On the plus side, it did have some helpful annotations in a glossary in the back that explained some of the terms or people/places/etc that are casually mentioned in the text, and that was nice. Sort of wish there were footnote markers in-text to make it easier to know when something in the narrative had further explanation, but I can understand why that wasn't done. All in all, 2 stars, "it was ok."

  9. 4 out of 5

    Julius

    A graphic novel of Swann's Way. Hmm, that could easily go badly...but it doesn't. It is a real delight, in fact, and a nice adjunct to Proust's novel. So many of the things Proust writes about paint word-pictures of things: villages, gardens, architecture, artwork, clothes, flowers; having carefully observed illustrations of those things adds a new dimension of understanding and appreciation to the novel. It allowed me to experience Swann's Way afresh, luxuriating in the scenic and cultural deta A graphic novel of Swann's Way. Hmm, that could easily go badly...but it doesn't. It is a real delight, in fact, and a nice adjunct to Proust's novel. So many of the things Proust writes about paint word-pictures of things: villages, gardens, architecture, artwork, clothes, flowers; having carefully observed illustrations of those things adds a new dimension of understanding and appreciation to the novel. It allowed me to experience Swann's Way afresh, luxuriating in the scenic and cultural details in a way that Proust's words could not fully convey. I would never recommend this as an alternative to reading Proust, nor would I recommend reading it before reading Proust. But it works wonderfully as a companion piece. One caveat: the drawings of the characters can be a little cartoonish, reminiscent of Tintin, say. Ultimately it is a matter of taste whether this is acceptable or sacrilege. For me, the value of seeing lovely rendering of the world in which the novel takes place more than offset the limitations in Heuet's renderings of the characters.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    111016: i do not know if this rating is right- of course i love the writing, the extracts, the dialog- but this is all proust. i read him many years ago, probably 16 years (some 'book of the millennium' list). all seven volumes in translation. i read them in order, so this volume 1: swann's way, is buried under everything else read since, proust, bergson, lit crit. reading this the story became much more concise, ironies clear, rendering characters exact, but somehow too simple in parallels betw 111016: i do not know if this rating is right- of course i love the writing, the extracts, the dialog- but this is all proust. i read him many years ago, probably 16 years (some 'book of the millennium' list). all seven volumes in translation. i read them in order, so this volume 1: swann's way, is buried under everything else read since, proust, bergson, lit crit. reading this the story became much more concise, ironies clear, rendering characters exact, but somehow too simple in parallels between swann and odette, marcel and gilberte. it made me want to go back and actually read him again! having read and lived years since i first read it, increased my understanding of these characters, how complex, how engaging, how ironic and surprising. it no longer bothers me that so much happens in the head of the narrator. it did not in written form and it does not in graphic seem quite as pathetic but rather more perversely romantic that swann can revel in his jealousy and enjoy his diminished value, simply to odette, simply to the verdurins, and it is somewhat clearer to me what love is to marcel seen in this story from before his birth. and that all these people are wealthy and compete socially to the exclusion of any other values, well this only spurs me to read on... but this is only the first graphic: do i have to read the book again...? and the names! and the images of dreams locating him! and the imagined nature of all those places he wants to go to, spurred by literature- parma, venice, florence- and the imagined nature of all those characters- madame swann, gilberte swann, swann himself!... damn i feel impatient for the next graphic... so here is my review of the book: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...

  11. 5 out of 5

    CarolineFromConcord

    Thank you, thank you, Stéphane Heuet (and translator Arthur Goldhammer), for adapting critical sections of Marcel Proust's "In Search of Lost Time" in such a way that I can penetrate his genius! Believe me, I tried before. And I've been a little ashamed that I couldn't get into Proust. With the graphic-novel version's pictures (sometimes comical, sometimes beautiful) and many famous passages, I feel like I have finally got some exposure to the great man. I loved the incisive satire of self-impor Thank you, thank you, Stéphane Heuet (and translator Arthur Goldhammer), for adapting critical sections of Marcel Proust's "In Search of Lost Time" in such a way that I can penetrate his genius! Believe me, I tried before. And I've been a little ashamed that I couldn't get into Proust. With the graphic-novel version's pictures (sometimes comical, sometimes beautiful) and many famous passages, I feel like I have finally got some exposure to the great man. I loved the incisive satire of self-important climbers. I loved the insights about how often people say the exact opposite of what they feel. I am beginning to get it through my head that Proust was a psychologist and philosopher as much as a novelist. This version of "Swann's Way" covers "Combray," with Proust's early memories of observing the grownups at his great aunt's house in the country, "Swann in Love" and its characterizations of dislikable people making themselves ridiculous, and "Place Names." There is a kind of appendix that includes sketches of all the characters in case you get confused, but I don't think you will since the faces are so distinctive. There is also a map, a Proust family tree, and a glossary of helpful notes explaining some of the literary references. Needless to say, the madeleine pastry gets the attention it deserves, as does a strain of music that also evokes ineffable feelings. I loved this. Highly recommended.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I remember analyzing one sentence Proust wrote in a college undergraduate creative writing class. That sentence turned me off from attempting to read Proust; however, my mind changed when I saw this graphic novel version. It was definitely easy to understand and follow. It was also very different from what I expected. I find it hard to rate since I cannot compare it to the original and also the story itself is a little too random for my taste. I am happy that I read it and thought the illustrati I remember analyzing one sentence Proust wrote in a college undergraduate creative writing class. That sentence turned me off from attempting to read Proust; however, my mind changed when I saw this graphic novel version. It was definitely easy to understand and follow. It was also very different from what I expected. I find it hard to rate since I cannot compare it to the original and also the story itself is a little too random for my taste. I am happy that I read it and thought the illustrations were very well done.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Merry

    I was reminded of how I gave up the struggle to read the entire series in English, let alone French, after studying it in college in French. But I think he takes barely conscious thoughts as they drift by, notices them, and then is able to express them. He is acquainted with the contents of his mind as well as any mindfulness meditator. Wonderful illustrations.

  14. 5 out of 5

    StrictlySequential

    --My rating of the ADAPTATION will be DRASTICALLY different from my opinion of the work that has been adapted because I hated reading this tripe- appreciating one's writing stylistically does not overcome my disgust of the subject matter and personality of the writer. I'd prefer to delete this prim and preposterous ponce from MY memories!-- Adaptation= **** Adapted= **- the second star is ONLY for certain great characters within. WHAT A MILK-SOP*! The way he talks constantly about the agony of any l --My rating of the ADAPTATION will be DRASTICALLY different from my opinion of the work that has been adapted because I hated reading this tripe- appreciating one's writing stylistically does not overcome my disgust of the subject matter and personality of the writer. I'd prefer to delete this prim and preposterous ponce from MY memories!-- Adaptation= **** Adapted= **- the second star is ONLY for certain great characters within. WHAT A MILK-SOP*! The way he talks constantly about the agony of any length of separation (in the same house) from his mother and grandmother is nauseating! *=Proust, while narrating his early childhood, brought that term out of me, for the first time, in vocal aggression- which I found interesting because I've never heard it in conversation since my only exposure is from Kafka's self-flagellating pen. I opened to where I left off only to promptly close the book a page or so later on two or three occasions after my first session because I was so disgusted by the very young Proust. What a sissy- he made me queasy with his pathetically delicate constitution! The book finally blossomed when characters that weren't in his family and didn't resembled them in baring began entering at a rapid rate excepting his "scandalous" Uncle who didn't fit the family mold and was banned from their company as he was the only one of them that I didn't firmly dislike. My favorites were those that would be termed "peasants" by them and those who didn't take on holier-than-thou "airs" specifically the engineer who left Paris for weekends in Combray. A particularly rankly uppity boy that Proust was friends did, however, share this viewpoint with me- so much so that it perfectly describes me in both opinion and action: "I never allow myself to be disturbed by the influences of the atmosphere or conventional units of time. I would readily allow the use of the opium pipe and Malaysian kris, but I know nothing of the use of those far more pernicious and abjectly bourgeois instruments, the pocket watch and umbrella." I don't even own an umbrella and only wear, in the right circumstances, a rare Frank Lloyd Wright styled watch for the fashion of it- on the occasion that someone asks me for the time I notice that it's exactly an hour ahead or behind, depending on the season, as often as it displays the correct time. I also had quite the history with opiates but with a dedicated recovery I'm presently over five and a half years removed from their vice grip. Before continuing I must vehemently declare: I DETEST the majority of the family, even the head servant who her own brand of vileness, in a way that will stick with me whenever Proust comes to mind. They represent everything I hate about "aristocracy" which I do not term by financial holdings but by the way they view OTHER people and life in general by standards that are obnoxious, ill-considered and a virus within decent society. I speak of the difference between those with (moldy) "old money" and inferred social rank as opposed to those who prosper financially, even if by inheritance, but retain their humanity. Proust's family, a near-perfect example of the former, DISGUST me immensely. Being from a (comparatively) "poor" family, like the recruited athletes, in the prep schools I attended made me very aware of the differences between what "viewpoints" are necessary to retain wealth and those reprehensible ones that have no value and are the pastime of those who are putrid and lacking in soul that are so easily passed to their peers with narrow minds and "honorably" nurtured to be passed on to their children. Those monsters SHAMELESSLY perpetrate and procreate such horrors under the guise of wealth's necessity and from the ignorance of not thinking outside of their sphere once they, after a childhood under the yoke of their parents' world, are exposed to those outside of it. HERE'S THE PARTITION BETWEEN BOOKS ONE AND 4-6 Books two and three are annoyingly absent from this edition.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Romany

    Compared to the non-illustrated text, I found the narrator, Swann, Odette and Gilbert MORE horrible and annoying. I had more sympathy for them all when reading the extended and often beautiful prose. But this was absolutely brilliant to read because it’s a reminder of the way in which the book is structured (which does get lost in the detail of the full text). I found the art of the interior scenes a bit ordinary in comparison to the gorgeous landscapes. Beautiful version of the classic.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Evelyn

    The story didn't hold my attention at times but the art is beautiful.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    The only way I can read Proust.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kitty

    A good overview for people who, like me, are both intimidated and intrigued by Proust's masterwork. Beautiful art.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    Can't wait to read the next volume! Throughout Swann's Way, I kept thinking "I wonder where this is even going?" Now I want to read the original (or at least an english translation) to see if there's a similar feeling. A great picture of early 1900s upper crust Paris.

  20. 4 out of 5

    J

    I remember reading one of the early volumes of this years and years ago and finding it beautiful but incomplete. The finished full adaptation is marvelous with intricate art, historical detail, and a fine paring down of the story.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Abby

    An admirably executed challenge. Having read Swann's Way twice now, I'm not sure that it's the best choice for a graphic novel, but Stéphane Heuet does the best possible job with the material at hand.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Chris Rutledge

    This is an amazing adaptation, in graphic novel form, of Swann's Way, the first volume of In Search of Lost Time. From the first: “Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure” (For a long time, I went to bed early) to the closing " the memory of a certain image is but regret for a certain moment; and houses, roads, avenues are as fleeting, alas, as the years,” this edition captures the spirit of the masterpiece. This is wonderful both for those who have read the novel several times (as I have - This is an amazing adaptation, in graphic novel form, of Swann's Way, the first volume of In Search of Lost Time. From the first: “Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure” (For a long time, I went to bed early) to the closing " the memory of a certain image is but regret for a certain moment; and houses, roads, avenues are as fleeting, alas, as the years,” this edition captures the spirit of the masterpiece. This is wonderful both for those who have read the novel several times (as I have - it's one of my favorites) to initiates. The introduction itself sets the stage very well, and leads into the story, guiding the reader and enabling an understanding of what Proust is trying to show. Please buy this.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Steven Peck

    How delightful to return to Combray and again awake in the morning disoriented and confused while the world is constructed again from our memory--and from Stephane Heuet's gorgeous illustrations. He captures the spirit of the books so well, and the details chosen for each frame are perfect. I hope he does the entire series. This graphic novel covers Swann's Way almost perfectly. I can't think of a thing I would change. Well reading and owning.

  24. 4 out of 5

    James

    It's not a masterpiece as a graphic novel, but I assume nobody expected it to be. For fans of "The Novel," or for someone looking for an accessible introduction to Proust, this is certainly worth looking at. The art is pretty and the attempts at transposing the amazing interiority of Proust's trademark style into a graphic medium are, if not always fully successful, always interesting.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I went back and forth between thinking the condensing of Proust was ok and thinking it was missing too much. Part of the problem I think was having just read the Lydia Davis translation, so all I could think while reading the graphic novels was how I remembered everything and how it was done in the novel. I think it did help clarify some things I had missed.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ed

    A marvelously draw graphic novel first of the Proust's master work, a good introduction, not perfect in its translation but the graphics make up for this

  27. 5 out of 5

    Chuck

    Really fine work. I imagine that a seasoned Proustian would esteem it as highly as I do (novice that I am).

  28. 5 out of 5

    Phrodrick

    Bottom Line: Not the same as reading the original, but the art work alone makes this a valuable addition to your library. I have a much better Idea of what I am missing by not reading the full text. This is recommended as better than a Readers Digest but not a full on replacement. Many years ago, and only because it was required reading I attempted the first volume of Marcel Proust’ In Search of Lost Time/ Swan’s Way. The experience taught me that I was not up to every author I attempted. I was hu Bottom Line: Not the same as reading the original, but the art work alone makes this a valuable addition to your library. I have a much better Idea of what I am missing by not reading the full text. This is recommended as better than a Readers Digest but not a full on replacement. Many years ago, and only because it was required reading I attempted the first volume of Marcel Proust’ In Search of Lost Time/ Swan’s Way. The experience taught me that I was not up to every author I attempted. I was humbled and deterred from ever again attempting Marcel Proust. A few years back I read his short, pastiche The Lemoine Affair (The Art of the Novella)Proust in this book he manages to make fun of himself and to satirize a number of his contemporaries. I cannot claim to have understood everyone targeted but the man’s good humor and ability to tweak his targets made for a fun read. As soon as I saw this graphic novel version, what the publishers call ComicArt of Proust’s epic reinvention of the modern novel, I made the decision that this was a wayto get some idea of what had previous defeated me. No one reading the graphic novel should claim to have read the book, but with it I feel that I have achieved my goal of getting beyond the famous memory inspiring madeleine. This book serves as a rich sample of what the actual read will be with the constant reward of highly crafted, richly embellished comic art. As to the quality of Arthor Goldhammer’s translation I can make on general statements. I was never conscious of the kinds of translator short cuts as terms with little or no meaning to an English reader may or may not get switched out for either a bald term or one that would have carried no meaning with the original author. The text does contain a number of the Proust’s signature sentences structure, lexical arabesques and complexities. There are any number of a conceits and lessor metaphors that I had to take on faith. Several pages of the young narrator’s feverish hopes of a tour of the European mainland left me more confused than inspired. Elsewhere there is a lyrical description of a ride to Martinville –le-Sec. A trick of the road causes the town church steeples of Matinville and neighboring Vieuxvicq to appear to “change places.” The text conveys the child’s wonderment and the art work eloquently duplicates the intended effect of the text. And the art work. The drawings of Stephane Heuet make this book. Finely detailed drawing insure our attentions to the details that Proust would us to especially note. Faces, food, architecture, the infinity of the details of fin de siècle France among the upper middle class. Lessor characters and lessor locations get a more classically simple finished comic rendition. The issue of class. Much of this book chronicles the life of their neighbor Swan. The road from home to town can be by passage in front of Swan’s estates, Swan’s Way. We are advised of his ‘inappropriate marriage”. We see every moment of his spiral out of his ready access to the higher society where he had been welcome. We watch his troublesome love affair that keeps him with a lady of the demimonde. She will use him for entre into upper middle class or a social climbers or at a least socially pretentious clique. Watching Swan became an exercise like unto the grind house movie where you want to shout at the teen ager to no go alone into the dark Only Swan is a boulevardier, a sophisticate and knows better while not acting better than a besotted man. I was not prepared for the implied sex in the text. Here punctuated by the occasionally indiscreet drawing. Perhaps I was less aware of what complexities Proust was hiding in his complex sentences. Nothing here that is scandalous, but a few cartoons that some parents and the much more easily offend may wish to be wary.

  29. 5 out of 5

    toxygen

    This graphic novel is simply stunning. It is not a classic comic book that you might expect. The difference is that the graphic novel tries to mirror what's written in the original novel as compared to just displaying interesting plot that you might expect in comic books like Logicomix or Irmina. The graphics in this book display thought train of the character, his dreams, almost as a poetic movie would have done. The first ~35 pages were difficult to get through. Nothing interesting really happ This graphic novel is simply stunning. It is not a classic comic book that you might expect. The difference is that the graphic novel tries to mirror what's written in the original novel as compared to just displaying interesting plot that you might expect in comic books like Logicomix or Irmina. The graphics in this book display thought train of the character, his dreams, almost as a poetic movie would have done. The first ~35 pages were difficult to get through. Nothing interesting really happened, context was laid out but without any connection to later events or the other way around later in the book - except one very important moment - the famous Madeleine moment. I haven't read the original novel, but my guess would be the book copied original in this aspect. However, after this difficult beginning, hold your hats. It'll strike you right in the heart and brain. The book is able to supernaturally grasp and express human emotions in a way I have not seen before. I started relating to most of the scenes through something that happened in my real life, either through my friends' stories, or my own experience. I must admit that I reluctantly opened the book the second time, after earlier disappointment with the boring start that literally made me take a long break from the book. But once I got through that part, I could not stop reading and read the book in a one go. The ending is anticlimactic, but not bad per se. It leaves you with your thoughts, with a mental conflict if you are really yearning for more or if you are happy with what has been said (or drawn, for that matter). And it gives you one more thing - desire to read the original novel, the source for all this beauty of emotions that were just poured all over you. Fantastic reading that reads better with age of the reader. Younger people might not find it that interesting though.

  30. 5 out of 5

    John

    2.5 Stars. It's a nice primer for people unwilling to delve into the series. However, it's not pefect--the translation (from French, then to comics) is a bit wonky at times. And I find the art wildly uneven--I can almost see the fatigue Stephane Heaut has with this adaptaion. It's sadly a lot of narration and talking heads, which I never consider good form for the graphic novel medium. It's almost "too cartoony" for the subject matter, although a more painterly/watercolor approach would take far 2.5 Stars. It's a nice primer for people unwilling to delve into the series. However, it's not pefect--the translation (from French, then to comics) is a bit wonky at times. And I find the art wildly uneven--I can almost see the fatigue Stephane Heaut has with this adaptaion. It's sadly a lot of narration and talking heads, which I never consider good form for the graphic novel medium. It's almost "too cartoony" for the subject matter, although a more painterly/watercolor approach would take far too long. "Here are the most intelligent comics the world has to offer"--this comment on the inner sleave makes me gag, similar to accolades of the Booker Prize winner, Sabrina. This is almost an Extreme version of Classics Illustrated.

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