In The Fugitive the sixth volume of Marcel Proust's monumental, seven volume Remembrance of Things Past, Albertine has finally made her escape from Marcel's Paris apartment, where his obsessive jealousy had turned her into a virtual prisoner. Not only is Marcel quite unprepared for the effect on him of her flight, but also soon he is devastated by news of an even more irreversible loss.
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In this eleventh volume of Remembrance of Things Past Neville Jason does a superb job with extremely difficult material. Not only does the author present us with nearly five hundred characters and countless resonances, but he does so in a convoluted prose style. Adroitly unraveling these locutions, Jason's characterizations and rendering of subtext are right on target. He delivers much of the original's subtle flavor, erring only in being perhaps a bit too aristocratic. Though British and reciting in a British idiom, he manages to convey a suitably Gallic feel. He also reveals a sense of Swann's elusive gestalt and its development. Moreover, he makes the whole thing interesting. In this volume at least, he knows who Swann is, how to play him, and how to involve us in Swann's quest.
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