MAY 15, 2013

Proust's Letters and Life

By Alain de Botton

Admirers of Proust have to overcome an anxiety before embarking on any study of his life; an awareness that Proust himself wouldn't have been very happy to hear that we are focusing on it.

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MAY 15, 2013

Residencies in Review: Banff International Literary Translation Centre

By Rachael Small

Residencies in Review highlights international residencies for writers and translators of French by sharing the experiences of past participants. Some of these programs provide literary artists with structure, scheduled workshops, meetings, and excursions, while others provide the time and space to work away from the concerns of day-to-day life and let the writers and translators plan their own work schedules.

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MAY 6, 2013

Writer par excellence

By William C. Carter

I find it extraordinary that whenever the national media in the U. S. wants to typify the writer par excellence it is usually Proust who is cited. His name crops up all the time in The New Yorker (as do new cartoons to add to the already impressive list; more cartoons devoted to Proust than to any other writer, I'm sure), The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, etc.

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MAY 2, 2013

Residencies in Review: Villa Gillet

By Marjolijn de Jager

Residencies in Review highlights international residencies for writers and translators of French by sharing the experiences of past participants. Some of these programs provide literary artists with structure, scheduled workshops, meetings, and excursions, while others provide the time and space to work away from the concerns of day-to-day life and let the writers and translators plan their own work schedules.

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APRIL 24, 2013

Chez Proust

By William Nadylam | Translated by Rachael Small

At the whim of each sound, of each color, of each feeling and each emotion, Proust makes me think that maybe, in the end, literature only interests me when it sheds light on those who surround me and watch me. It becomes something more than decoration when it tells me about the way I look at others and at myself.

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APRIL 17, 2013

Residencies in Review: Centre national du livre

By Alyson Waters

Residencies in Review highlights international residencies for writers and translators of French by sharing the experiences of past participants. Some of these programs provide literary artists with structure, scheduled workshops, meetings, and excursions, while others provide the time and space to work away from the concerns of day-to-day life and let the writers and translators plan their own work schedules.

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APRIL 15, 2013

Proust & Music

By Anthony Leroy and Sandra Moubarak | Translated by Rachael Small

Fidelity to the Proustian aesthetic calls for analogy, one’s relationship to their work calls for a mirror. Like Marcel Proust, who drew freely from musical works in order to cross-breed and transcribe them into novels, we traverse the early 20th century of French music at our discretion. It is a “sound reading” of the Recherche, subjective and rightfully so.

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APRIL 10, 2013

Residencies in Review

By Rachael Small

In the early 1900s, a number of organizations in the US and abroad began inviting musicians, painters, sculptors, and writers to participate in residency programs aimed at bringing these artists out of their cafés and studios and into nature, to share the experience of creation. From these romantic beginnings, artist-in-residency programs have taken on a wide variety of forms, from idyllic colonies in the forest to state-sponsored urban retreats. The modern residency has also come to recognize the artistic production of the translator and the many ways literary translations benefit from travel.

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APRIL 3, 2013

No America Inside

By François Bon | Translated by Rachael Small

Proust is so rich that it is difficult to approach him through absences, or what is missing. For example, Franz Kafka writes a brilliant text in 1909, the first time he goes to the movies, and sees a Chaplin film, and is quite willing to run off to Italy to see airplanes for real (The Aeroplanes at Brescia).

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MARCH 26, 2013

Marcel in Senegal

By Rachael Small

Marcel Proust was a particularly strong presence at what felt (and still feels) like a pivotal moment in my life. I was introduced to the Recherche eight years ago, in a French class at Bard College, taught by the charming and brilliant Eric Trudel. This was only the second French literature course I had ever taken, and the first one where I felt that my imperfect understanding of the language did not distract from my enjoyment of the narrative.

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MARCH 21, 2013

Reading Proust

By Anka Muhlstein

One of the great pleasures of reading Proust for the first time is going from surprise to surprise. You never know what is coming next. Characters change all the time.

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MARCH 12, 2013

Learning Through Memory

By Marie-Camille Alban

The first time I heard of Proust, I didn't even know we were talking about him. I was about 11 years old and my mathematics teacher told us the story of this guy who stumbled over a paving stone. It reminded him of a moment, years before in Venice, when he had faltered the same way on unequal slabs of stone. I understood the that unexpected memory got him out of an unbearable melancholy.

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MARCH 4, 2013

A La Proust: The Dangers of Writing in Bed

By Lila Azam Zanganeh

Swann’s Way was published on November 14, 1913. Just two days before, the newspaper Le Temps printed an “interview” with Proust. This interview was a fake. It was entirely written by Proust himself. Its heading read: “In the rooms whose shades are almost always shut, Mr. Marcel Proust is lying down. The electric light accentuates his matte complexion, but two admirable eyes full of life and fervor exude light under a forehead buried beneath his hair.

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FEBRUARY 26, 2013

Proust Audiobooks

By Nicholas During

My step-dad is a philosophy professor and when I was a kid he became interested in memory. First his focus was how people remember the Holocaust, and later he came to Proust. Bear in mind, he's from Australia and was taught French by a WWII vet who'd learnt it during the war, and was hardly a Francophile. All of a sudden, he bought three different complete English translations of À la recherche du temps perdu.

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FEBRUARY 15, 2013

Proust & Edmund White

By Edmund White

Now when I look back on Proust’s immense achievement in this year of the centennial of Swann’s Way (whose publication he had to subsidize), I realize that in the last twenty years his book has edged out Ulysses out as the canonical work of the 20th century. Although Proust predicted that he himself would be forgotten in ten years after his death, and his book in a hundred years, the renown of his great work only grows. As Proust observed, a revolutionary work of art must go out into the work and great its own posterity.

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FEBRUARY 14, 2013

Introducing Proust & Me

By Laurence Marie

"Proust and Me": this is the first title Roland Barthes considered for the lecture he gave on Proust in the fall of 1978 at the Collège de France, and then at NYU. Not, he said, because "I compare myself to this great writer,” but because “I identify myself with him,” for In Search of Lost Time is “the narrative of a desire to write.” Eventually, to illustrate this identification process, he chose to borrow his title from Proust’s voice itself, from the famous first (and unusually short!) sentence of the Recherche’s first volume: “For a long time, I went to bed early.”

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