French, English, Comics: Proust On Memory, In Any Language
July 12, 2015
back then I had several years of high-school French under my belt, and a dream. I’ll read the guy in French, I thought. How hard can it be?
The answer, it may not surprise some of you to learn, is “excruciatingly.” For me, anyway.
if you read Proust in English — even an excellent translation – you’re starting off at a certain distance from the original text.
This is true of any translated work, of course: You get the meaning, but you miss much of the music.
I’d argue that comics, if done well, can close some of that distance. They can make the meaning even more immediate, because you SEE the characters, and the places, and the bones of the story making themselves plain. But comics can capture some of that lost music as well.