Kirk’s Picks No. 9 – In Search of Lost Time, Marcel Proust [Book]

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time is one of the richest novels ever written, one that may be with you for the rest of your life.

Theme music: Honest Labor, composed and performed by Timo Andres.

If you enjoyed the podcast, follow it on Apple Podcasts or in your favorite podcast app. For show notes and links to my pick, go to kirkville.com/picks. You can support this podcast by purchasing items via my affiliate links, or you can sign up for my Patreon and donate a few bucks a month.

Happy 150th Birthday Marcel Proust

IMG 1862Today is the 150th anniversary of the birth of French author Marcel Proust, and, as such, I’ve just started my fifth reading of his seven-volume novel A la recherche du temps perdu. Known in English as either Remembrance of Things Past or In Search of Lost Time,

Even those who haven’t read the novel may have heard about the incident when the narrator dips a madeleine – a small cake – into a cup of tea, and takes a bite, these flavors unlocking a torrent of memories from his childhood. Memory and time are the two threads that flow constantly through the novel, and Samuel Beckett said, in his 1931 essay about the work, that the “entire book is a monument to involuntary memory and the epic of its action.”

You read Proust because it’s a literary Everest, but you fall in love with the novel because of the depth of its characters, and the way Proust makes you see the world through his eyes. You may have heard that it’s hard to read Proust: the novel is seven volumes long, and there are sentences that stretch on for hundreds of words. But it’s not hard, you just have to adapt to his style. The key that unlocked it for me was when I listened to an audiobook version of the novel in French, and realized that Proust’s writing is just the spoken word on the page. Once you understand that, you appreciate the cadences of his writing.

I first read La recherche in the early 1980s, when Terrence Killmartin’s revision of Scott Montcrieff translation was released in three huge volumes. I read it while commuting from Queens to Manhattan, perhaps 20 or 30 pages a day. When I moved to France in 1984 – initially to spend a year, but eventually staying in the country nearly three decades – I was optimistic. The very first book I bought was the compact, three-volume, leather-bound, bible-paper Pléiade edition of the novel. It took me a few years to get through the book – Proust used a vocabulary of more than 18,000 words in his novel – but after that, I was hooked.

Since then, I’ve read it every ten years or so, including once listening to a 128-hour audiobook recording in French. And so I embark, once again, on this journey.

In English, you have two choices. The Montcrieff/Kilmartin translation, titled Remembrance of Things Past. While not a literal translation of the title, Montcrieff took a line from a Shakespeare sonnet, feeling it was more poetic. This translation is arguably a bit old-fashioned, and doesn’t benefit from an updated edition of the French text published in the late 1980s, partly so the publisher, Gallimand, could retain copyright when the work was going into the public domain, but also to add a number of texts that had been discovered in the 1980s, including manuscript corrections that Proust made shortly before his death, but which had never been included in the work before.

The other option is the Penguin translation, completed in 2002, where each volume is rendered by a different translator. While this is a quick way to get this done, it does create inconsistencies. Titled In Search of Lost Time, this translation does contain the found texts of the newer French edition, and also takes into account the many corrections added to the 1987 Pléiade update.

And, to complicate things, there is even a revised version of the revision of Montrcieff’s translation, published by Modern Library, adopting the In Search of Lost Time title.

There are pros and cons to each translation, and I’ll put links below to articles about each of them, as well as a link to articles I’ve written about Proust on my website.

No matter which one you choose, should you wish to embark on this journey, you’ll discover one of the richest novels ever written, one that may be with you for the rest of your life.

PhotoActive Podcast, Episode 96: Photographing Children

We’d bet that a sizable portion of the DSLR or mirrorless camera market wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for parents wanting to take photos of their kids. Too often, though, people think that just buying a “good camera” will ensure good photos. Then they discover just how fast kids move. In this episode, Kirk and Jeff talk about overcoming challenges unique to photographing children using traditional cameras. (And why using an iPhone instead can be a better option most of the time.)

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at the PhotoActive website. You can follow The PhotoActive on Twitter at @PhotoActiveCast to keep up to date with new episodes, and join our Facebook group to chat with other listeners and participate in photo challenges and more.

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode #195: The Danger of Internet-Connected Devices

We take another look at Windows 11 system requirements, we discuss another strange wi-fi network name that can break iPhones, and we look closely at the issue of Western Digital network storage devices that have had data deleted by hackers.

Follow the The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

What to Do if You Have Western Digital My Book Live or My Book Live Duo Devices

In the past few weeks, many users of Western Digital network connected storage devices have found that their data was remotely wiped by hackers. Hackers took advantage of a bug in the devices’ firmware of certain older devices, along with a zero-day vulnerability in some newer devices. While this vulnerability has been fixed in a recent version of the newer devices’ operating system, many users cannot upgrade to this new version, because their devices do not support it. Also, many users do not want to upgrade to this new version because it is not working well.

These issues affect a number of Western Digital My Book Live and My Book Live Duo devices.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

The Next Track, Episode #213 – The Grateful Dead’s 100 Essential Songs, with Bob Trudeau

This week’s guest, Bob Trudeau, has co-authored a book, with Barry Barnes, about the Grateful Dead’s 100 Essential Songs. Even if you’re not a fan of the Grateful Dead, this episode is an interesting discussion of a band’s repertoire.

Help support The Next Track by making regular donations via Patreon. We’re ad-free and self-sustaining so your support is what keeps us going. Thanks!

Support The Next Track.

Find out more at The Next Track website, or follow The Next Track on Twitter at @NextTrackCast.

Syncing Scrivener Projects to the Cloud

One of the best things about modern computing is the availability of “the cloud,” allowing us to sync files from device to device without using floppy discs, thumb drives, or complex network connections to file servers. With cloud services such as Dropbox, iCloud Drive, One Drive, and others, this syncing mostly just works. You put files in a folder on your computer, and they sync to the cloud, and you can access the same files on another computer or device.

But when you’re syncing Scrivener projects to cloud services, there are some rules to respect. Here’s how you can use Scrivener with the cloud.

Read the rest of the article on The L&L Blog.

To learn how to use Scrivener for Mac, Windows, and iOS, check out my book Take Control of Scrivener 3.

Kirk’s Picks No. 8 – Foregone, by Russell Banks [Book]

Foregone, the new novel by Russell Banks, is a moving novel about the past, about truth, and about the acceptance of death.

Theme music: Honest Labor, composed and performed by Timo Andres.

If you enjoyed the podcast, follow it on Apple Podcasts or in your favorite podcast app. For show notes and links to my pick, go to kirkville.com/picks. You can support this podcast by purchasing items via my affiliate links, or you can sign up for my Patreon and donate a few bucks a month.

Shortcuts Are Coming to macOS – What Does This Mean, and How Secure Are They?

macOS has long had automation tools that can help you save time performing complex tasks, or tasks you carry out often. From AppleScript to Automator, these tools have been available with variable learning curves, and many people leverage these tools regularly.

iOS/iPadOS 12 added Shortcuts, another automation tool, to that platform, and now Apple is adding Shortcuts to macOS. What does this mean for the future of automation on the Mac? And what are the risks of using shortcuts?

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.