December 17, 2013
Novels Every Supreme Court Justice Should Read

Just before the Supreme Court’s October sitting, Justice Antonin Scalia made national headlines by proclaiming that he believes in Satan.
But before the November sitting, Justice Stephen G. Breyer sparked widespread apathy when he revealed he has read Marcel Proust’s seven-volume masterwork, A la recherché du temps perdu.
In French.
Twice.
Breyer made this startling revelation in an interview with La Revue des Deux Mondes of Paris, published in translation by The New York Review of Books.*
I suspect that many Americans, told of this accomplishment, would be baffled: Why read a book in French when there are good English translations available? Why bother with a work of thousands of pages and damned little action? (Before it was published, a reader for one French publisher rejected it, saying, “My dear friend, perhaps I am dense, but I just don’t understand why a man should take 30 pages to describe how he turns over in bed before he goes to sleep.”)
Read more. [Image: Ruben Sprich/Reuters]

Novels Every Supreme Court Justice Should Read

Just before the Supreme Court’s October sitting, Justice Antonin Scalia made national headlines by proclaiming that he believes in Satan.

But before the November sitting, Justice Stephen G. Breyer sparked widespread apathy when he revealed he has read Marcel Proust’s seven-volume masterwork, A la recherché du temps perdu.

In French.

Twice.

Breyer made this startling revelation in an interview with La Revue des Deux Mondes of Paris, published in translation by The New York Review of Books.*

I suspect that many Americans, told of this accomplishment, would be baffled: Why read a book in French when there are good English translations available? Why bother with a work of thousands of pages and damned little action? (Before it was published, a reader for one French publisher rejected it, saying, “My dear friend, perhaps I am dense, but I just don’t understand why a man should take 30 pages to describe how he turns over in bed before he goes to sleep.”)

Read more. [Image: Ruben Sprich/Reuters]

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  12. monsemblable said: "recherche," not "recherché." how poor
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    I may never, alas, read War And Peace in Russian, or Don Quixote in Spanish (modern or not), but I do want to read Les...
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