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March 03, 2005

Albertine Disparue (Thanks Sonny Bono Department)

Not only Albertine but also La Prisonnière and Le Temps Retrouvé--at least in their new English translations, at least for those of us in the United States.

Boing-Boing reports on what we owe to Sonny Bono:

Boing Boing: Sonny Bono vs. Marcel Proust: Slate.com's Aaron Matz reports that the Sonny Bono copyright act is preventing a the final volumes of a new translation of Proust from appearing in the US:

Only the first four volumes of the new translation—from Swann's Way through Sodom and Gomorrah—are available here. For this we have Sonny Bono to blame. Just before he died in 1998, the congressman sponsored a bill to extend the term of copyright by 20 years: According to the Sonny Bono Copyright Act, passed later that year, rights would expire 95, rather than 75, years after an artist's death. Since Proust died in 1922, only those four volumes first published during his lifetime had passed into the American public domain by the time the Bono Act became law. It will therefore be at least 2018 before readers in the United States can find the final three installments of the new translation (The Prisoner, The Fugitive, and Time Regained) in their local bookstores.

Posted by DeLong at March 3, 2005 10:31 AM