Faculty Writing: On Proust in Translation, and Australian Novelist Shirley Hazzard

This month, Bookforum—a refreshing and much-beloved source for book news, from essays to interviews to reviews—shuttered its doors for good. In a fond, albeit regretful, farewell to a forum that was also home to many a BISR faculty-penned review, we’d like to share these two pieces of faculty writing from its final issue.

Rebecca Ariel Porte reviews a new translation by Ian Patterson, Finding Time Again (Le Temps retrouvé), the final volume of Proust’s masterwork In Search of Lost Time. “It would be foolish to expect a translation to mimic the prosody of the Recherche exactly,” she writes; and yet, “[i]f a method of translation could be said to have a sense of humor” about the inevitable displacements and compensations that such work entails, “then it would be Patterson’s.” 

And Christine Smallwood reviews a new biography of 20th century Australian novelist Shirley Hazzard, a writer who “always drew freely from life for her fiction”—a “cosmopolitan” life punctuated by some of the century’s most significant events; and “yet,” writes Smallwood, “drawing on life doesn’t mean that Hazzard confronted it fully.” 

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