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Assessing the English and Spanish Translations of Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu

Herbert E. Craig

This book examines in detail the numerous translations and revisions to these two essential languages of one of the outstanding works of French and world literature. Although the Spanish poet Pedro Salinas completed the first translation in the world of Proust’s first two volumes (1920, 1922), it was C. K. Scott Moncrieff of England who was largely responsible for the first complete translation of the Recherche (1922-1931). Since then there have been many partial translations of Proust’s seven volumes, as well as one new complete translation for English and three for Spanish since 2000. Through comparison of first the English versions and then the Spanish versions of each important segment of the Recherche, the author attempts to determine which translation or revision is the best for each one. Factors included the addition or omission of elements, mistakes in the translation of words, phases or levels and the importance given to equivalency or fluency.