The Collected Poems: A Dual-Language Edition with Parallel Text (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

Overview

As a young man, Proust wrote both poetry and prose. Even after he embarked on his masterful In Search of Lost Time at the age of thirty-eight, he never stopped writing poetry. His verse is often playful, filled with affection and satire, and is peppered with witty barbs at friends and people in his social circle of aristocrats, writers, musicians, and courtesans. Few of the poems collected here under the editorship of Harold Augenbraum, founder of the Proust Society of America, have ever been published in book ...

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Overview

As a young man, Proust wrote both poetry and prose. Even after he embarked on his masterful In Search of Lost Time at the age of thirty-eight, he never stopped writing poetry. His verse is often playful, filled with affection and satire, and is peppered with witty barbs at friends and people in his social circle of aristocrats, writers, musicians, and courtesans. Few of the poems collected here under the editorship of Harold Augenbraum, founder of the Proust Society of America, have ever been published in book form or translated into English until now. In this dual-language edition of new translations, Augenbraum has brought together nineteen renowned poets and poetry translators to bring Proust's exuberant verse back to life. Marcel Proust (1871-1922) is generally viewed as the greatest French novelist and perhaps the greatest European novelist of the 20th century. He lived much of his later life as a reclusive semi-invalid in a sound-proofed flat in Paris, giving himself over entirely to writing In Search of Lost Time.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Even passionate readers of Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past may not know that the master also wrote verse. Left in manuscripts, enclosed in letters, or published along with his earliest prose, these 104 poems were not collected in their original French until 1982, and most appear here in English (with French en face) for the first time. The earliest, from the 1880s and 1890s, are florid, delightfully shocking declarations of same-sex lust; the latest, addressed to friends and confidantes (including Proust’s housekeeper Celeste Albaret), speak of the webs of shared tastes and crying emotional needs that also connect the characters of the novel. Yet Proust was not a poet by vocation: his later poems seem confined to their occasions, or awkwardly put in their earnest translations: “Tonight I feel that one longs to slumber./ Yet—my dear friend—Louisa’s a hot number.” Others are clearly fragments, or poke fun at now-obscure targets, or depend entirely on alert editors’ annotations, packed as they are with proper nouns: “O you who know the Virgin of Avila,/ Reynaldo Hahn!! better than... than... than the milk of Mamilla!” Augenbraum offers a clear introduction and notes, while eminent Americans (Lydia Davis, Wayne Koestenbaum, Rosanna Warren) contribute translations. Richard Howard does an especially stellar job with Proust’s tributes to painters, his most serious freestanding poems: in “Antoine Watteau,” “What’s vague is tender now, what’s near, remote.” The volume deserves attention because it shows a nearly unknown side of Proust, though it may seem like grace notes amid the symphonic greatness of Proust’s prose work. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
"No doubt anyone with an interest in Marcel Proust will be grateful for Penguin's new dual language edition of The Collected Poems, incisively edited by Harold Augenbraum and drawing on the work of 20 translators. But devotees of David Foster Wallace, Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortazar, Jean Rhys — even Kenneth Burke — will also be enthralled: if an infinite book has no beginning or end, then surely this is one. Augenbraum's introduction and hugely entertaining notes help make the volume at least three books, really. Palimpsest or holographic to the poems, Augenbraum's given us a biography of Proust as well as an engrossing cultural history, a cubist portrait of the writer's milieu and his most intimate friendships. [ ...] All along the book has been a network of boulevards and gardens, cross streets and alleys, and we are flaneurs, flaneuses, wandering once more through Proust's youth, roaming through the middle of the text again, and we find there much worth discovering, much worth remembering."
—John Hennessey, Huffington Post
Library Journal
This year is the sesquicentennial of Swann’s Way, the first volume of Proust’s epic (and extraordinarily lengthy) novel, In Search of Lost Time. To help commemorate the occasion, Penguin has gathered up all of the novelist’s poems—sonnets, snippets, and lengthier verse—into this handsome collection. With translations by Lydia Davis (who translated Swann’s Way for Viking in 2003 to great acclaim) and poets Richard Howard, Susan Stewart, and Rosanna Warren, among others, this collection of just over 100 poems (with French on facing pages) leans in a more romantic, more traditional direction than his gargantuan modernist novel. In his introduction, translator Harold Augenbraum says that, for Proust, “writing poetry was akin to taking a busman’s holiday from literature,” and his poems are certainly more immediate than his obsessively revised fiction. An essential title for Proust completists.

(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143106906
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/26/2013
  • Series: Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition Series
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 787,798
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Marcel Proust

Marcel Proust (1871-1922) is generally viewed as the greatest French novelist and perhaps the greatest European novelist of the 20th century. He lived much of his later life as a reclusive semi-invalid in a sound-proofed flat in Paris, giving himself over entirely to writing In Search of Lost Time.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      July 10, 1871
    2. Place of Birth:
      Auteuil, near Paris, France
    1. Date of Death:
      November 18, 1922
    2. Place of Death:
      Paris, France

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