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Damion Searls on Proust and Ruskin

Tuesday September 20, 2011
07:00 pm

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Part 2 | Part 3






Searls read from his new translation of Proust's breathtaking essay "On Reading." The essay originally appeared as Proust's preface to his translation into French of John Ruskin's book about reading, Sesame and Lilies, but it also the first example of Proust's mature fictional style, with marvelous scenes of childhood reading in his childhood home. Searls also discussed the biographical background of Proust's engagement with Ruskin, Proust's unique (and often bizarre) approach to translation, Proust's and Ruskin's theories of reading, and some of the exquisite scenes that shed light on the themes and methods of Remembrance of Things Past


Damion Searls is an award-winning translator of European writers including Rainer Maria Rilke, Robert Walser, Ingeborg Bachmann, and Christa Wolf. His translation of Hans Keilson's forgotten World War Two novel Comedy in a Minor Key was a New York Times Notable Book and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. He is also the author of What We Were Doing and Where We Were Going (stories), and his writing has appeared in Harper's, The Paris Review, The Believer, and n+1.


Damion Searls is also the new leader of our Proust I group which will start anew in October. For more information on our Proust groups click here.