Books & Music Proust - advice? recommendations?

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  1. I've been wanting to read À la recherche du temps perdu for some time now, but I admit I keep getting intimidated :shame:

    Anyone have recommendations on how best to approach this sizeable work? Should I purchase one of the many supplementary companion guides, or read through the whole thing on a standalone basis first? My French is good enough to read magazines & websites, but I'm not a native speaker by any means; would I be better off with a translated English text, and if so, which translation is best?

    Thanks in advance (^(oo)^)v
  2. I'll talk for myself as a French native speaker and I would probably tell you to buy the English version because even I had a hard time understanding some words in the novel and French is my first language and it's a pretty big piece of literature. But I don't know which translation would be the best. Or if you really want to read it in French I would tell you to look in an English-French dictionary the words that you don't understand and that way you could also improve your French at the same time. So that's just my personal advice and I'll just tell you: Have a great reading it because I personally loved it very much :smile:
  3. I'm actually leaning towards just going for broke and reading the original French (^(oo)^)v

    you mentioned you had a hard time understanding some words; would you say the grammatical structure overall is somewhat archaic, or relatively modern? In other words, would reading the book in French actually improve my usable French fluency, or would I just sound like someone who tried to learn English by reading Steinbeck? :P
  4. Personally I thought the structure of the novel was somewhat modern so I think if you already have a base in French you should be okay and like I told you in my other post you could also improve your French at the same time :smile:
  5. sold!! off to order the book, and a good dictionary! (^(oo)^)v
  6. I was going to say to say to read the original French but I see you have already chosen to do so. It will be somewhat of a challenge but an enjoyable one, indeed.
  7. Thanks for your input Irishgal! Always reassuring to have an affirmative second opinion! :smile:
  8. I can't comment on Proust's work since I'm not familiar with it, but I would totally support that you get it in its original language. I always try to get books how they were written, given that I can actually understand the original language. There's a lot to be lost in translation, even with the best ones!
  9. Just wanted to pop in with an update - I'm planning to start in on the plane today! Exciting!

    Regarding the language dilemma, piggy had a little idea whilst placing her order! Instead of toting 'round a giant French-English dictionary, I purchased a translated English volume as a sort of companion reference. The plan is to read the original French text, using the English text for accurate translations when I encounter unfamiliar vocabulary. Hopefully this strategy will better capture the mood of the original, compared to looking up individual words in a standard dictionary (^(oo)^)v

    IIRC, in my high school French Lit course, that was how we went about it, and it seemed to work pretty well!
  10. I take a type of continuing education French class and do the same thing with the novels we are reading.
    I read The Elegance of the Hedgehog in both English and French and also
    Suite Francaise. Let us know how you are making out with the book. Bon chance!!
  11. Read it in french :graucho: i think it's not worth reading something wich is traduce, for me, i don't want to read Shakespeare in french, but i'm not good enough in english to understand, so...
  12. Oh good luck Piggy! I actually googled what you were talking about in the thread and I used to take French in high school. The novel seems interesting to read during my winter break of school coming up. Can you let me know how it turns out?? Hopefully I still remember some French but I have my dictionary just in case :smile: