Ben Marcus

  • Analyze This

    In Lydia Davis's introduction to her 2003 translation of Swann's Way, she observes that Proust "categorically rejected sentences that were artificially amplified, or that were overly abstract, or that groped, arriving at a thought by a succession of approximations, just as he despised empty flourishes." For those of us who had only read C. K. Scott-Moncrieff's jewel-encrusted translation, this might have seemed true of any writer but Proust. Beautiful though his prose was, economy of utterance, a resistance to modifiers, and an approach to language that mirrors thought did not seem apt