Today it's called 'In Search of Lost Time'. An earlier generation knew it as 'Remembrance of Things Past'. Under whatever title, and whichever translator, Proust's gargantuan novel has challenged American readers for nearly ninety years.Over the course of twelve months, Stephen Fall tackled the recent and lovely Penguin/Viking editions, blogging on the internet as he read. He devotes a short chapter to each of the novel's seven books, introducing it with a two-minute plot synopsis--thus the fourteen minutes of the title. More than that, he ruminates on one or more of its highlights, compares the Penguin/Viking translations with the classic ones based on the work of C. K. Scott Moncrieff, and (gotcha!) points to errors in the text or translation. Three concluding chapters discuss Albertine, the great love of the narrator's life; Proust's service in the French army; and the 'dueling madeleines', which give a snapshot of each translator's version of a notable Proustian passage. About 12,500 words.
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About the Author
Stephen Fall is the pen name of an American journalist and historian who usually writes on topics far removed from early 20th Century French literature. Not to worry! He has been a student of Proust's gargantuan novel since it was known in English translation as 'Remembrance of Things Past'.