Friday, 4 February 2011

Remembrance of Things Past....

...has nothing to do with Teapot's birthday. It is of course the monumental 4,000 plus page novel by Marcel Proust.

This year has seen its serialisation in four parts on French TV as part of a crackdown by Nicholas Sarkozy on the dumbing down of French culture. Reality shows out... Proust in. For four episodes that is. After which presumably it's back to Bruce Forsyth or Simon Cowell or whoever is their equivalent over the Channel.

There is a certain irony in that since it took the first English translator of this magnum opus over 9 years to flog his way through it and then he died before he had finished the last book seven.

However one must not knock the efforts of our Gallic friends to translate the unintelligible and try to say in ten words what they used to say in a hundred. I have personally witnessed this phenomenon on days at home as Teapot spends hours locked in deep debate with our friend Thierry from Grenoble. They are translating the Godfather's blitz diary which make the works of Proust seem like the Beano.

When all is finished. If it is ever finished there may be another blockbuster fit for transmission on TV5