In Search of Lost Time: Swann’s Way: A Graphic Novel
Product rating: 4.5 with 2 reviews
Whether you are looking to brush up or sample for the first time, this graphic adaptation of In Search of Lost Time is the perfect introduction to Proust’s masterpiece.
“Proust was the greatest novelist of the twentieth century, just as Tolstoy was in the nineteenth,” wrote Graham Greene. “For those who began to write at the end of the twenties or the beginning of the thirties, there were two great inescapable influences: Proust and Freud, who are mutually complementary.” With its sweeping digressions into the past and reflections on the nature of memory, Proust’s oceanic novel In Search of Lost Time looms over twentieth-century literature as one of the greatest, yet most endlessly challenging literary experiences. Influencing writers like Virginia Woolf and James Joyce, and even anticipating Albert Einstein in its philosophical explorations of space and time, In Search of Lost Time is a monumental achievement and a virtual rite of passage for any serious lover of literature.
Now, in what renowned translator Arthur Goldhammer says might be “likened to a piano reduction of an orchestral score,” the French illustrator Stéphane Heuet re-presents Proust in graphic form for anyone who has always dreamed of reading him but was put off by the sheer magnitude of the undertaking. This graphic adaptation reveals the fundamental architecture of Proust’s work while displaying a remarkable fidelity to his language as well as the novel’s themes of time, art, and the elusiveness of memory. As Goldhammer writes in his introduction, the compression required by this kind of adaptation As Goldhammer writes in his introduction, “the reader new to Proust must attend closely, even in this compressed rendering, to the novel’s circling rhythms and abrupt cross-cuts between different places and times. But this necessary attentiveness is abetted and facilitated by the compactness of the graphic format.”
In this first volume, Swann’s Way, the narrator Marcel, an aspiring writer, recalls his childhood when―in a now immortal moment in literature―the taste of a madeleine cake dipped in tea unleashes a torrent of memories about his family’s country home in the town of Combray. Here, Heuet and Goldhammer use Proust’s own famously rich and labyrinthine sentences and discerning observations to render Combray like never before. From the water lillies of the Vivonne to the steeple and stained glass of the town church, Proust’s language provides the blueprint for Heuet’s illustrations. Heuet and Goldhammer also capture Proust’s humor, wit, and sometimes scathing portrayals of Combray’s many memorable inhabitants, like the lovelorn Charles Swann and the object of his affection and torment, Odette de Crécy; Swann’s daughter Gilberte; local aristocrat the Duchesse de Guermantes; the narrator’s uncle Adolphe; and the hypochondriac Aunt Léonie.
Including a Proust family tree, a glossary of terms, and a map of Paris, this graphic adaptation is a surprising and useful companion piece to Proust’s masterpiece for both the initiated and those seeking an introduction.
Posted in Literary Tagged with: Graphic, Liveright, Lost, Novel, Search, Swann's, Time
Dark Places of the Earth: The Voyage of the Slave Ship Antelope
Product rating: 5.0 with 2 reviews
A dramatic work of historical detection illuminating one of the most significant―and long forgotten―Supreme Court cases in American history.
In 1820, a suspicious vessel was spotted lingering off the coast of northern Florida, the Spanish slave ship Antelope. Since the United States had outlawed its own participation in the international slave trade more than a decade before, the ship’s almost 300 African captives were considered illegal cargo under American laws. But with slavery still a critical part of the American economy, it would eventually fall to the Supreme Court to determine whether or not they were slaves at all, and if so, what should be done with them.
Bryant describes the captives’ harrowing voyage through waters rife with pirates and governed by an array of international treaties. By the time the Antelope arrived in Savannah, Georgia, the puzzle of how to determine the captives’ fates was inextricably knotted. Set against the backdrop of a city in the grip of both the financial panic of 1819 and the lingering effects of an outbreak of yellow fever, Dark Places of the Earth vividly recounts the eight-year legal conflict that followed, during which time the Antelope‘s human cargo were mercilessly put to work on the plantations of Georgia, even as their freedom remained in limbo.
When at long last the Supreme Court heard the case, Francis Scott Key, the legendary Georgetown lawyer and author of “The Star Spangled Banner,” represented the Antelope captives in an epic courtroom battle that identified the moral and legal implications of slavery for a generation. Four of the six justices who heard the case, including Chief Justice John Marshall, owned slaves. Despite this, Key insisted that “by the law of nature all men are free,” and that the captives should by natural law be given their freedom. This argument was rejected. The court failed Key, the captives, and decades of American history, siding with the rights of property over liberty and setting the course of American jurisprudence on these issues for the next thirty-five years. The institution of slavery was given new legal cover, and another brick was laid on the road to the Civil War.
The stakes of the Antelope case hinged on nothing less than the central American conflict of the nineteenth century. Both disquieting and enlightening, Dark Places of the Earth restores the Antelope to its rightful place as one of the most tragic, influential, and unjustly forgotten episodes in American legal history.
8 pages of illustrations
Posted in Abolition Tagged with: Antelope, Dark, Earth, Liveright, Places, Ship, Slave, Voyage