Remembrance of Things Past is one of the monuments of 20th-century literature. Neville Jason's widely praised abridged version has rightly become an audiobook landmark and now, after numerous requests, he is recording the whole work unabridged which, when complete, will run for some 140 hours. The Captive is the fifth of seven volumes. The Narrator's obsessive love for Albertine makes her virtually a captive in his Paris apartment. He suspects she may be attracted to her own sex.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
Public Domain (P)2012 Naxos AudioBooks
I have only recently returned to the endeavour through Proust that I began last autumn. Probably due to oversaturation I had to stop after ”Sodom and Gomorrah”. But now, returning, it’s like I had never been away. Neville Jason’s perfect narration, the flow of Proust’s language and his deep insight into humanity are a trove of delightful treasures.
In my review of the previous volume, I spoke of the pervading theme in Proust that somehow speaks to me the most in this time and place in my life: the sense of identity and how it’s formed, not only in our eyes but in others’, as well. Proust is, in this respect not only an incomparable psychologist but also a most gifted creator of character and circumstance. His characters pretend to be something they’re not, and in fact this pretense might be their uttermost reality. How we lie to each other and ourselves, then.
A wonderful experience to be lived and relived, the fifth volume in Proust’s heptalogy and the first part of what the author envisaged as ”The Albertine Novel”, ”The Captive” (”La Prisonnière”) was published in 1923, following Proust’s death of pneumonia and pulmonary abscess in November of the previous year. It’s thus the first of the three remaining volumes that, because of the varying states of (in)completeness, are under critical textual study. Moncrieff’s translation, the one used in these audiobooks, is, in this respect, an old one that is unable to take into account all the textual advancements, yet from what I understand it’s not a deal-breaker at all in the sense that it would somehow befuddle the reader/listener of Proust.
The fifth volume of Proust's massive novel turns out to be the most perverse so far! I'm enjoying listening to Neville Jason's reading but the way in which the narrator rejoices in holding Albertine a virtual captive, hence the title, in his Paris flat is rather disturbing. The scene in which he describes watching, and then laying with, the sleeping girl is distinctly unpleasant but in the way of watching a snake about to strike. Strong stuff for the turn of the 19th Century. The bluntly written views of the most anti-semetic characters are also a surprise for the listener more used to the politically correct novels of today.
Remembrance of Things Past is one of the two or three best books ever written. It is full of social, pyschological, socio-economic, quality life, and meaning of death insights. For these reasons this book can be reread many times in a life and discover something new each time. Proust was truly inspired when he wrote these volumes
Proust compares to many existential novelists, for example Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Camus.
Neville Jason interpretation and presentation is perfect.
You can't make this book into a film would be the tag line. Alternatively ... skip the film, read!
Proust's writing is beautiful and his insights of life and death breath-taking.
"At last a way to listen to this great classic"
Somehow I have never gotten around to reading Proust. I always intended to, so when I saw it was available on Audiobooks I decided to finally do it. I actually expected it to be somewhat tedious and I planned to just read the first of the seven books just to get a taste. Well, to my surprise I was totally engrossed in it and eventually did all seven books. Gorgeously written - such magnificent prose. And the characters - they will stay with you forever. And the beautiful French names. Haunting. I highly recommend this book and the other seven too. You won't regret it.
"Reviews of Books Past"
Review #1 (The Capitol)
This is the fifth volume of Proust's In Search of Lost Time/Remembrance of Things Past. In the Captive, Proust's narrator is concerned about who Obama is in love with. The ardor of Speaker Boehner is face-to-face with the serenity of the House's hatred. The happiness that Congress knows is impossible, their fear that they will be rejected in the next election, faces the narrator with a dilemma -- does he leave the President he thinks he loves, or stay with the President he now ceases to love. The Fall, like the Spring of 17 years before, forces the narrator to shut government down to stir his soul to remind him of a vivid more pronounced period. Thinking of Gingrich, Boehner grips his heart in his hands as he discovers that the President has fled and left him alone, all alone, a captive in his own disgraced and ruined House.
Review #2 (The Bedroom)
Like being stuck in bed, in a full-body cast, at home with your mother as caregiver. You adore her. She is funny, attentive and her house dress smells like your childhood (well, a musty, blurry version of your childhood). Mother Proust cooks you all sorts of nice sweet things, but your childhood bedroom AND bed just seem to get smaller and smaller after just the second word and immediately after the first bedpan.
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