A French Book Reading Resource

All about language programs, courses, websites and other learning resources
Online
User avatar
kanewai
Blue Belt
Posts: 621
Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 9:10 pm
Location: Honolulu
Languages: Native: English
Active: Greek
Maintenance: Italian, Spanish, French
Priors: Pááfang (Micronesian), Indonesian, Latin, Epic Greek, Turkish, Arabic
x 2418
Contact:

Re: TOTW: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby kanewai » Mon Apr 26, 2021 4:08 am

MorkTheFiddle wrote:Carmondy asked for my review of A la recherche du temps perdu. Here it is
...
Some of the people will stay forever in my mind. Marcel, Françoise, Swann, Odette, Baron Charlus. Others have already slipped away. Robert St Loup is on the way out, too.
...
If French Culture does not intrigue you, then maybe read the first volume only. I think I read that's the part French students get assigned. Read that, then read more if you like. Otherwise, have a cognac, or maybe a madeleine, to celebrate and move on.
I've been told that French students read the first part (up to the madeleine), and then the flashback mini-story Swann in Love. For me Swann in Love was not the best section, and it dragged on. It's important because it sets the stage for events to come, but I didn't think it would hold up well on its own. I wonder if this is the reason students get turned off on Proust.

I was also told that, at the end, you'd want to start back in again. It was hard for me to imagine that, until the final pages - and now I really am thinking about re-reading at least the first two books.
2 x
fr: Margeurite Duras, Un barrage contre le Pacifique: 80 / 100
it: Indro Montanelli, Storia dei Greci: 160 / 341
es: RNE, El Quijote del siglo XXI: 3 / 10
el: Assimil, Le grec: 75 / 100

Online
User avatar
kanewai
Blue Belt
Posts: 621
Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 9:10 pm
Location: Honolulu
Languages: Native: English
Active: Greek
Maintenance: Italian, Spanish, French
Priors: Pááfang (Micronesian), Indonesian, Latin, Epic Greek, Turkish, Arabic
x 2418
Contact:

Re: TOTW: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby kanewai » Mon Apr 26, 2021 4:12 am

I just finished Samarcande by Amin Maalouf (1988)

Une légende court les livres. Elle parle de trois amis, trois persans qui ont marqué, chacun à sa façon, les débuts de notre millénaire : Omar Khayyam qui a observé le monde, Nizam-El Mok qui l'a gouverné, Hassan Sabbah qui l'a terrorisé.

9782253051206-us.jpg
9782253051206-us.jpg (50.6 KiB) Viewed 213 times

The first half of this book takes place a thousand years ago in the royal cities of the Silk Road, and follows the lives of three men: the scientist and poet Omar Khayyam, author of the Rubáiyát; the Seljuk vizier Nizam al-Mulk; and Hassan Sabbah, the founder of the Order of Assassins.

It was fascinating, and like the best historical fiction transports you back to a lost world. As a bonus, Khayyam’s poetry is scattered throughout.

The second half follows an American scholar’s attempts to track down an original copy of the Rubáiyát. There’s more action, including a revolution in Iran and the sinking of the Titanic, but it didn’t have the same magic as the first half. Maalouf was trying to make a point here about the modern (circa 1988) state of Islamic culture, colonialization, and modernization, but I missed the poetry and the vivid characters of the earlier parts.

I'd still recommend the book!
6 x
fr: Margeurite Duras, Un barrage contre le Pacifique: 80 / 100
it: Indro Montanelli, Storia dei Greci: 160 / 341
es: RNE, El Quijote del siglo XXI: 3 / 10
el: Assimil, Le grec: 75 / 100

User avatar
Carmody
Brown Belt
Posts: 1270
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:00 am
Location: NYC, NY
Languages: English (N)
French (B1)
Language Log: http://tinyurl.com/zot7wrs
x 2289

Re: TOTW: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:11 pm

Thanks so much for your magnificent review; it is greatly appreciated. I will think on it and get back to you with questions after a day or so.
1 x

User avatar
MorkTheFiddle
Brown Belt
Posts: 1329
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 8:59 pm
Location: usa
Languages: English (N). Read (only) French and Spanish. Studying Ancient Greek, aiming for mastery by 2424. Studying a bit of Latin and Japanese. Once studied Old Norse. Dabbled in Catalan, Provençal and Italian.
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 11#p133911
x 2512

Re: TOTW: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Mon Apr 26, 2021 5:40 pm

kanewai wrote:
MorkTheFiddle wrote:Carmondy asked for my review of A la recherche du temps perdu. Here it is
...
Some of the people will stay forever in my mind. Marcel, Françoise, Swann, Odette, Baron Charlus. Others have already slipped away. Robert St Loup is on the way out, too.
...
If French Culture does not intrigue you, then maybe read the first volume only. I think I read that's the part French students get assigned. Read that, then read more if you like. Otherwise, have a cognac, or maybe a madeleine, to celebrate and move on.
I've been told that French students read the first part (up to the madeleine), and then the flashback mini-story Swann in Love. For me Swann in Love was not the best section, and it dragged on. It's important because it sets the stage for events to come, but I didn't think it would hold up well on its own. I wonder if this is the reason students get turned off on Proust.

I was also told that, at the end, you'd want to start back in again. It was hard for me to imagine that, until the final pages - and now I really am thinking about re-reading at least the first two books.

You make a good point about Swann in Love. One runs out of patience with Swann, but the theme of rich man falls in love with trollop is a thread that runs through western art and judging by today's headlines still runs through western society. Joseph von Sternberg's Blue Angel from 1930, very close to Proust's time, treats the subject in a powerful film.
Though not finished because there is Sodom and Gomorrah left, but I too feel the urge to go back and read the whole thing again. Especially having the perspective of the whole panorama and of knowing how things turned out. :)
2 x
Tu sabes cuando sales pero no sabes cuando regresas.

User avatar
MorkTheFiddle
Brown Belt
Posts: 1329
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 8:59 pm
Location: usa
Languages: English (N). Read (only) French and Spanish. Studying Ancient Greek, aiming for mastery by 2424. Studying a bit of Latin and Japanese. Once studied Old Norse. Dabbled in Catalan, Provençal and Italian.
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 11#p133911
x 2512

Re: TOTW: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Mon Apr 26, 2021 5:42 pm

Carmody wrote:Thanks so much for your magnificent review; it is greatly appreciated. I will think on it and get back to you with questions after a day or so.
I see I renamed you in that post. Sorry about that. :( I'll blame it on new bifocals.
1 x
Tu sabes cuando sales pero no sabes cuando regresas.

User avatar
Carmody
Brown Belt
Posts: 1270
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:00 am
Location: NYC, NY
Languages: English (N)
French (B1)
Language Log: http://tinyurl.com/zot7wrs
x 2289

Re: TOTW: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Tue Apr 27, 2021 1:53 am

MorkTheFiddle

Thanks so very much for your review of A la recherche du temps perdu. It is greatly appreciated and gives me courage that I so badly need to undertake this venture. Of course the question is just how much am I going to bite off. This just is not a book like any other. As I understand it, it is composed of:

-Volume One: Swann's Way
-Volume Two: In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower
-Volume Three: The Guermantes Way
-Volume Four: Sodom and Gomorrah
-Volume Five: The Prisoner
-Volume Six: The Fugitive
-Volume Seven: Time Regained

Possibly I will start with Vol. 1:Swann's Way and see where that takes me.

Then there is the choice of publisher; I am not sure which to go with at this time but figure I will eventually find one.

I am also not sure if I will live long enough to read all 7 vols. but time will tell.

I remain indebted to you for your time and guidance.
2 x

User avatar
MorkTheFiddle
Brown Belt
Posts: 1329
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 8:59 pm
Location: usa
Languages: English (N). Read (only) French and Spanish. Studying Ancient Greek, aiming for mastery by 2424. Studying a bit of Latin and Japanese. Once studied Old Norse. Dabbled in Catalan, Provençal and Italian.
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 11#p133911
x 2512

Re: TOTW: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Tue Apr 27, 2021 9:50 pm

Carmody wrote:Possibly I will start with Vol. 1:Swann's Way and see where that takes me.

Then there is the choice of publisher; I am not sure which to go with at this time but figure I will eventually find one.

You are correct about the number of books, and the best choice is to begin with the first. The long sweep of the first paragraph that takes you metaphorically from current times into the Middle Ages is unforgettable.
I own the three volume Pleiade edition first published in 1954 purchased much later than that in a book store in Montmartre, as I think I have mentioned before.
There are a couple of volumes of the Folio editions lying around my place which serve well, too.
Different editions may have slightly different texts because of changes especially to the parts published after Proust's death.
1 x
Tu sabes cuando sales pero no sabes cuando regresas.

User avatar
Carmody
Brown Belt
Posts: 1270
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:00 am
Location: NYC, NY
Languages: English (N)
French (B1)
Language Log: http://tinyurl.com/zot7wrs
x 2289

Re: TOTW: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Tue Apr 27, 2021 11:28 pm

MorktheFiddle,

Is this the Pleiade edition that you got:
https://www.abebooks.com/recherche-temps-perdu-IV-Proust-Marcel/30819332769/bd?cm_mmc=ggl-_-US_Shopp_Trade-_-naa-_-naa&gclid=CjwKCAjw7J6EBhBDEiwA5UUM2k2Plub_5MIgIyAmMptCUr9TdgojT4uOVINqICs3-KAcUOsP4EZYQRoC9-EQAvD_BwE

I regret to say I am in the market for a much cheaper edition.


Thanks so much for your guidance on Proust throughout. It has been instrumental in my undertaking this Journey.

Gratefully.
Last edited by Carmody on Wed Apr 28, 2021 12:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
1 x

User avatar
lysi
White Belt
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2021 1:34 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada
Languages: English (N), French
x 108

Re: TOTW: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby lysi » Wed Apr 28, 2021 5:40 am

Carmody wrote:I regret to say I am in the market for a much cheaper edition.

Thanks so much for your guidance on Proust throughout. It has been instrumental in my undertaking this Journey.

Gratefully.

The copyright on à la recherche du temps perdu expired a while ago (1987) so there's nothing cheaper you can get than a PDF/epub version of it, if you're fine with that. I found an edition on this site: http://beq.ebooksgratuits.com/vents/proust.htm.

You can also read it on this website: https://unepagedeproust.org/
3 x

User avatar
Carmody
Brown Belt
Posts: 1270
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:00 am
Location: NYC, NY
Languages: English (N)
French (B1)
Language Log: http://tinyurl.com/zot7wrs
x 2289

Re: TOTW: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Wed Apr 28, 2021 12:44 pm

lysi

Thanks so much for your thoughtful guidance; greatly appreciated.
0 x


Return to “Language Programs and Resources”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests