Sunday, January 1, 2012

Aimless Reading: The P's, Part 44.4 (Marcel Proust)

The Prisoner & The Fugitive
Proust, Marcel
The Prisoner & The Fugitive

Purchased on amazon.co.uk.

You may have noticed that this volume, containing books five and six of In Search of Lost Time, is housed in a different wrapper than its kin. I discovered while reading Proust yet another example of the absurdity of American copyright law. It turns out that the first four volumes of the original Moncrieff translation have expired, while the latter three volumes have not and will not for something like another decade.

I don't understand how a translation can hold other translations in check through a copyright, but then I guess I am not a lawyer or literary heir, am I?

I had to visit amazon.co.uk in order to get the last two volumes, which are published in the UK in cheaper, flimsier editions than they are here. That said, the cheaper editions are much more readable, lacking as they do the page-turn-frustrating deckled edge of the deluxe. On the other hand, they are already showing their wear, while the deluxe look almost brand new.

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So, Happy New Year, everyone! I think I forgot to celebrate the anniversary of Aimless Reading back in December. The project is slightly more than three years old. Thus far, we've covered "A" through "O" and part of "P." I think it will take another year or so to complete the alphabet, at which time I'll return to some of the earlier excusions I made into the non-alphabetized portions of the library, like reference works, anthologies, literary magazines and art books. I might also go back and add to the existing alphabet the books that have arrived on the shelves since the project began, but not in time to be included in their particular letter. We'll see.

2011 was a pretty good year in terms of visitors. There were 8,608 of you. The most visited blog posts were my two posts on the Blazevox controversy. The first, with its provocative title, garnered the most visits of any post in the history of the blog, 1,856. The second post garnered another 631. I am happy to report that this post on Jackson Mac Low garnered the third most visits of any post, logging 87. That should give you a pretty good idea of how much of a spike in readership that controversy brought to Pearlblossom Highway.

Anyhow, I am still enjoying myself. I hope you are. I'd love to hear which posts you most enjoyed from 2011 in the comments section.

from The Fugitive

When, much later, he found at that Albertine had been living with me then and realized that I had been hiding her from everyone, he declared that he understood at last why, at that time in my life, I never wanted to go out. He was wrong. Very understandably so, since reality, even if it is inevitable, is not completely predictable; those who learn some correct detail about the life of another promptly jump to quite incorrect conclusions and see in the newly discovered fact the explanation for things which in truth are completely unrelated to it.

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