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The Captive & The Fugitive: In Search of…

The Captive & The Fugitive: In Search of Lost Time, Vol. V (Modern Library… (original 1923; edition 1999)

by Marcel Proust (Author)

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8291915,874 (4.35)38
Title:The Captive & The Fugitive: In Search of Lost Time, Vol. V (Modern Library Classics) (v. 5)
Authors:Marcel Proust (Author)
Info:Modern Library (1999), Edition: New edition, 992 pages
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The Captive & The Fugitive: In Search of Lost Time, Vol. V (Modern Library Classics) (v. 5) by Marcel Proust (1923)



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"The Captive," the fifth installment in Marcel Proust's masterpiece "In Search of Lost Time" is exceptional... definitely as good as "Swann's Way" which remains my favorite in the series so far.

Our narrator, now given a hypothetical name, brings his lover Albertine to Paris, where they are both captives in different ways to his raging jealousy. The side story of Palamedes is also very interesting in this book.

Proust is alternately brilliant and maddening -- he loves to go on and on about insignificant details but then pulls out a random observation that makes all the wading worthwhile. I found this book to be much more readable than prior volumes -- I'm not sure if that's because it was shorter so the random musings were fewer or because it's the first I've read in The Modern Library translation. The book felt both brilliant and accessible, which wasn't always the case for me with other volumes.

I'll continue on reading the sixth book, "The Fugitive" in March.

"The Fugutive" was another great installment of this story... I'm almost sad to see it end. Here, our narrator is dealing with the loss of Albertine. Proust managed to fool me twice with what I'll call "plot twists," though not much happens in this book but musing, which really made me enjoy the book even more.

Looking forward to reading the final book in this series in May. ( )
  amerynth | Mar 31, 2016 |
**For American readers who have read the first 4 volumes of the "new" Penguin-Viking translation of Proust's In Search of Lost Time and want more, you're out of luck. Believe it or not, the American copyright of Proust's final three volumes STILL HASN'T EXPIRED! I've no clue what law allows someone to maintain such exclusivity, when the original work wasn't American and the author has been dead for almost 100 years, but I think it needs some serious revision. If you're interested, you can buy the new translation reviewed here on Amazon.co.uk, or search an American used book website like abebooks--thankfully it seems our British cousins have smuggled over quite a few copies for our benefit. Anyway...

In 2002, Penguin UK announced that editor Christopher Prendergast was supervising an all-new translation of Marcel Proust's famous French masterpiece, "In Search of Lost Time." The original English translation had been begun in the 1920's by C.K. Scott Moncrieff, and while his work was considered a classic of the translator's art, there are many bilingual critics who argue he was unnecessarily squirmy/euphemistic about some of the book's more adult themes (including frank and frequent references to homo- and hetero-sexuality), and that his love of flowery language had made Proust's infamous style even more difficult than it was in the original French.

(For those unfamiliar with Proust's style, the following sentence may provide some idea: Proust would, for example, begin a sentence slowly, often inserting sub and sub-subclauses early on, that they might explode, like land mines long forgotten in province and matter, far down the page, and then--for if not garrulous in real life, he was, like those flowers which thrive in a shadowy, crystalline vase, even as a gardener despairs of their wilted stalks in his finely terraced courtyard, at the very least certainly capable of making up for the loss on paper--he would use this allusive color to illustrate his analysis of human nature and motive, unparalleled not only because of manner in which It was written but because, like all truly great artists, the writing expressed feelings and sensations which had never been put into words--words as rare and valuable in the history of literature as the periods scattered amongst his prose.)

The Moncrieff 'foundation' had twice been redone over the years: first by Terence Kilmartin, and then in the 1980's by DJ Enright. Both streamlined the language, undid any prudish glossing, and made use of the latest French scholarship. But the foundation continued to be Moncrieff's. One of the best examples of his translating method lies in the very title he gave to Proust's work--one which stuck for most of the 20th century: "A Remembrance of Things Past." It's elegant--Shakespearean, in fact--and certainly conveys the YEARNING Proust shows in attempting to recapture the past. But the actual title is "À recherche du temps perdu," which Kimartin, Enright, and the new Penguin volumes all render as "In Search of Lost Time." What it loses in Edwardian elegance it more than makes up for in accuracy.

Anyway, the new Penguin translations received for the most part excellent reviews (particularly Lydia Davis's "Swann's Way"), but for some reason it had been decided that each volume would have a different translator. Possibly to speed things along, though I'm not certain. At any rate, for those reading from one volume to the next without pause (this is NOT me; it's taken me years--with numerous "vacations" from the book--to finish all seven volumes) this can be a jarring phenomenon, and what's more, not all translators are created equal. (Opinions differ as to which volume is the equalest.)

But that's beside the point, as this review is concerned with Volumes 5 and 6 (of 7): also known as "the Prisoner" and "the Fugitive." Beware: these two volumes have long considered the most tedious in the series. There is comparatively little humor to be found, and the sparkling, often hilarious parties which Proust can spend half a book describing are few and far between (though there are a couple brilliant pieces set at that Mme. Verdurin's, with more of Baron Charlus for us to enjoy). Instead, the vast majority of both books are concerned with Proust's obsessive love for the (possibly-lesbian) Albertine Simonet. From the time he somehow moves her into his flat (his parents are...out of town...) he is consumed with worry about her loyalty and affection.

Is she cheating on him? Don't worry, Proust will take pages and pages of Volume 5 to consider the subject. He becomes so possessive Albertine leaves him (thus "The Prisoner" becomes "The Fugitive") and this loss, and Proust's discovery of the truth about the woman he loved, takes most of Volume 6. Incidentally in both the M-K-E and the Penguin translations, these two volumes are usually bound together in one book, though Penguin has assigned a different translator for each! Out of all the books, these two would benefit most from a consistent voice. What's more, Proust himself was still editing these two volumes when he died (the final volume, Time Regained, was done for the most part much earlier, as a bookend to Swann's Way). Proust edited on a massive scale--even a typist's query would send him into a fury of cut-and-paste. While the French critics have reconstructed as best they could, these volumes retain an incomplete feel, especially when a character declared dead early on reappears alive at the Verdurins'. First names also mutate, and sometimes there will be references to bits of gossip or anecdotes which Proust forgot to provide.

So is the new Penguin edition that much better? In the case of these volumes, not if you already own the older translation. I feel somehow that while the Penguin versions are more taut, something of Proust's love of beauty has been lost. Sometimes it seems the two Penguin translators pruned so much that the reader winds up missing a step or two in Proust's thought processes. (When this happened I would usually wind up muttering the text aloud with peculiar emphasis, like someone trying to make sense of a poorly-written instruction manual) More than once I would compare Penguin to the M-K-E translation, and between the two managed to glean a much better idea of what was going on. ( )
1 vote uncultured | Feb 26, 2016 |
I'm losing steam on In Search of Lost Time. It's still intricately woven and impressive, but I find that this volume lacked all of the humor and warmth of the earlier novels. On the bright side, the split nature of The Captive and The Fugitive make the books really zip by. The collapse of the narrator's relationship with Albertine was particularly melodramatic and unsatisfying. I suspect that if Proust had the time to revise and refine those scenes he could have given them the depth that made the early volumes so rich. Instead these two installments were filled with long stretches of exposition on love and jealousy. ( )
  jscape2000 | Jul 3, 2015 |
I don't know. I made it this far, but there just doesn't seem to be a lot going on here except for our narrator's endless ruminations on Albertine and his unhealthy obsessions. The section on Venice in "The Fugitive" was the high point for me.

A female reviewer somewhere opined that Proust, with his different sexual orientation, could not believably create this situation involving a woman instead of a man. Specifically, Proust's true "captive" was a man who Proust suspected of having other affairs with men. By transposing the situation but then mixing the heterosexual with the homosexual, it becomes unlikely and unbelievable. But the endless repetition in these volumes highlight the lack of editing that might have been done if Proust had lived to do so, and that remains the major weakness. It makes for a real slog for the reader, and makes the narrator less sympathetic than what I think was intended. ( )
  nog | Dec 19, 2014 |
bookshelves: published-1925, lit-richer, france, fradio, radio-4x, epic-proportions, classic
Read on November 17, 2013

Hiding away from his turbulent love affair with Albertine, Marcel receives a devastating telegram. Stars James Wilby.

"We are a hundred different people every day"

This is the one with rampant paranoia, a yacht, a rolls royce, and the fickleness of love...

2* Swann's Way
2.5* Within a Budding Grove
3* The Guermantes Way
3.5* Sodom and Gomorrah
4* The Prisoner and The Fugitive

I have a feeling that these ratings reflect my own mind-block falling away and that this epic really is as good as everyone said it was. ( )
  mimal | Jan 1, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marcel Proustprimary authorall editionscalculated
Collier, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Enright, D. J.Translation revisionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kilmartin, TerenceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scott-Moncrieff, C. K.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Do not combine the English edition that includes the two novels The Captive and The Fugitive with other editions (including most non-English ones) that do not include both novels!
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375753117, Paperback)

The Modern Library’s fifth volume of In Search of Lost Time contains both The Captive (1923) and The Fugitive (1925). In The Captive, Proust’s narrator describes living in his mother’s Paris apartment with his lover, Albertine, and subsequently falling out of love with her. In The Fugitive, the narrator loses Albertine forever. Rich with irony, The Captive and The Fugitive inspire meditations on desire, sexual love, music, and the art of introspection.

For this authoritative English-language edition, D. J. Enright has revised the late Terence Kilmartin’s acclaimed reworking of C. K. Scott Moncrieff’s translation to take into account the new definitive French editions of Á la recherché du temps perdu (the final volume of these new editions was published by the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade in 1989).

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:31 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Presents the fifth volume in Proust's autobiographical novel, including "The Captive," and "The Fugitive," originally published in 1923-25, focusing on Marcel's relationship with his lover, Albertine.

(summary from another edition)

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