The year 2013 marks the centennial of two of the most significant moments in the history of Modernism: the celebrated Armory Show that introduced New Yorkers to modern art, and, later the same year, the publication in Paris of Swann’s Way, the first volume of Marcel Proust’s masterpiece À la recherche du temps perdu (initially retitled Remembrance of Things Past in its first English translation and now known as In Search of Lost Time).
Regarded as the greatest novel in all of French literature, In Search of Lost Time is also, for many readers, the single greatest novel of the twentieth century. With the knowledge of a lifetime spent studying Proust’s life and writings, Mr. Carter has carefully assessed and critiqued the various English-language translations of À la recherche du temps perdu and recognized both the strengths and weaknesses of the original English translation by C.K. Scott Moncrieff. He has also discovered the extent to which subsequent revisions to Moncrieff’s work have, in their attempts to address certain weaknesses, introduced copious new problems and strayed, sometimes subtly and sometimes glaringly, much farther from Proust’s original than most English-language readers could have ever guessed. In this book talk, Mr. Carter will unveil a new translation of the landmark work, informed by years of scholarship and enlivened by his affinity for the work itself.
William C. Carter is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His biography Marcel Proust: A Life was named a “Notable Book of 2000” by The New York Times, a “Best Book of 2000” by the Los Angeles Times, and a “Best Biography of 2000” by the Sunday Times of London. Harold Bloom has written that Mr. Carter’s most recent book, Proust in Love is “a marvelous study of the comic splendor of the great novelist’s vision of human Eros and its discontents.” Carter co-produced the award-winning documentary Marcel Proust: A Writer’s Life.
To Reserve: This event is open to the public. The fee is $15 for members and $20 for non-members. Reservations are required but cannot be accepted until October 30. To register please log on to your My Athenaeum profile to make a secure online payment at www.bostonathenaeum.org. Reservations are not refundable.