Upon deep reflection I nearly came to the conclusion that 2014 was a total shit show, unworthy of comment/time travel/etc.
Then upon deeper reflection I realized that I read all of Proust’s Search in roughly eight weeks.
So yeah, 2014 is exonerated!
In addition to these extraordinary books—
In Search of Lost Time Volume I: Swann’s Way. 1913.
In Search of Lost Time Volume II: Within a Budding Grove. 1918.
In Search of Lost Time Volume III: The Guermantes Way. 1920-1.
In Search of Lost Time Volume IV: Sodom and Gomorrah. 1921-2.
In Search of Lost Time Volume V: The Captive & The Fugitive. 1923-5.
In Search of Lost Time Volume VI: Time Regained. 1927.
in the 1992 Modern Library translation by C. K. Scott Moncrieff, Terence Kilmartin, and D. J. Enright*
[*I like their work, though of course the argument can and has been made that they’ve over-smoothed the French, which Lydia Davis has not. I was reading Proust in a small group and this was the translation chosen out of consensus. I’m happy I went along because the Viking series, from my occasional referencing it, seems to be inconsistent probably on account of having different translators for each novel.
One day I’ll read in French. And do my own translation! Ambitions.]
—I began my discovery of three writers whose work, like Proust, will have a lasting impact on how I read, write, think, live:
(1) Edmond Jabès;
[I read the first two volumes of The Book of Questions (The Book of Questions. 1963. & The Book of Yukel. 1964.), translated by a my biggest translation hero, Rosmarie Waldrop, and published by Wesleyan University Press. This was part of an amazing one-on-one tutorial and I’ll be reading the rest when I can breathe again.]
(2) Etel Adnan (who is going to be a major figure on my upcoming comprehensive exams—she is completely stunning and writes in multiple genres and languages);
[Sitt Marie-Rose. 1978. Translated from the French by Georgina Kleege. Post-Apollo Press, 1982.
Seasons. Post-Apollo Press, 2008.
The Cost for Love We Are Not Willing to Pay. Hatje Canz Verlag, 2011.
Sea and Fog. Nightboat Books, 2012.]
(3) and Lisa Robertson (whom I got to hear read and lecture at Naropa and make sign a billion books for myself and a friend).
[Occasional Work and Seven Works from the Office of Soft Architecture. 2003. Coach House Books, 2011.
Magenta Soul Whip. Coach House Books, 2009.
Nilling: Prose Essays on Noise, Pornography, the Codex, Melancholy, Lucretius, Folds, Cities and Related Aporias. BookThug, 2011.
The Weather. New Star Books, 2011.]
I should add George Oppen to this list, though technically I’ve read his books before; Read More