In Search of Saved Time: a Proust page number conversion app
You give the app a page number from one edition of Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, and it estimates the page numbers in every other major English edition and in the standard French edition.
Simply enter the page number of the chosen edition in the appropriate green cell. The app will then estimate the page number in all the corresponding editions. These estimates are usually accurate to within a very few pages.
The estimates appear in the corresponding row (not column), which means you have to scroll to the right to find them.
At present, the Page Number Converter only works with Chrome browser.
While co-editing The Proustian Mind, it became clear to me that there is no standard edition of Proust’s great, seven-volume novel in English. Instead, there are several translations. Some of these are printed in different editions, with different page numbers. Proust’s novel is long and his chapters (where he uses them) are usually long, too.
Part of the editing process involved checking that quotations and translations were accurate, or looking at quotations in their original context. Authors used different editions, in some case editions I did not have. It took a very, very long time.
So I created this webpage, which would have saved me a lot of time.
If you see someone refer to Proust’s novel in an edition you don’t have, and you want to find it in an edition you do have, this app will save you time, too.
The app works with the following five editions. For a bit more on the editions and why I chose them, see ‘Further notes on editions’.
- In Search of Lost Time (Vintage). Translation by C. K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin (vols 1-6) and Andreas Mayor and Terence Kilmartin (vol. 7), with all seven volumes revised by D. J. Enright.
- In Search of Lost Time (Modern Library). Translation by C. K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin (vols 1-6) and Andreas Mayor and Terence Kilmartin (vol. 7), with all seven volumes revised by D. J. Enright.
- In Search of Lost Time (Penguin). Various translators, under the general editorship of Christopher Prendergast.
- À la recherche du temps perdu. Pléiade edition in four volumes, edited by Jean-Yves Tadié et al. (Paris: Gallimard, 1987–9) This is the French edition used by Proust scholars.
- In Search of Lost Time (Centaur). Translation by C. K. Scott Moncrieff (vols. 1 to 6) and Sydney Schiff (vol. 7). This is an open source edition, available here.
Citing and Acknowledging this App
This app is available free of charge. All I ask is that you acknowledge it. If you use it for your scholarship (whether as a student writing an assignment or a scholar writing an article), please write something like: ‘In preparing the citations for this article, I made use of the following resource: Thomas Stern, 2022, In Search of Saved Time: A Proust page number conversion app, accessed dd/mm/yyyy, <http://sterntom.com/proust-page-number-converter/>.’
Further notes on Editions
Vintage changed the layout and page numbers of Swann’s Way, so there are two different versions out there. The app allows you to use either, but you need to know which you have. You can tell which you have by looking at the table of contents. If it is aligned in the centre, then you have the older version (the app calls this ‘SW Vintage 1’). If it is aligned to the left, you have the newer version (‘SW Vintage 2’). Unfortunately, versions of both were published in 2005, so the year of publication doesn’t solve the problem. If you don’t know, bear in mind that page numbers vary up to five pages between the two of them.
Vintage and Modern Library use the very same translation, with different page numbers. Penguin is a different translation altogether. Both translations are very good.
The Centaur translation is out of date and unreliable. I included it because the PDF is open-source and searchable. If you can find a quotation in the Centaur edition, you can locate it in the others, using the app.
The Pléiade edition is published by Gallimard, who publish other, much cheaper editions of Proust, including Folio (7 volumes) and a single-volume Quarto edition. There is also a free, online edition available at https://marcel-proust.com/. Pagination is not neatly standardised between each of the three print editions, and the section numbers provided in the online edition do not correspond neatly to any of the printed editions. I chose the Pléiade edition because it was appropriate for the scholarly context of The Proustian Mind.
Thanks to Foteini Valeonti and to Jack Stirzaker.