French artist Stephane Heuet has visualized a book long thought to be beyond visualization. Over fifteen years he offered six installments of Marcel Proust’s “In Search of Lost Time” in French, and now this graphic novel has been collected and will be released in English.

Faithful Proustians will surely make an uproar about how much has been lost, but at least for all of us who struggled to get through the seven-volume book, the graphic novel will be a great reading aid.

Stylistically, the clean faces of the younger characters remind me of The Adventures of Tin-Tin, plus the way the visuals are presented in a relatively simple manner.

Norton will release the book on July 15. [Pictures after the jump]

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The translator is Arthur Goldhammer, who has translated a list of books as long as your arm. He’s based at Harvard, and is an American who usually translates from the French.

The Boston Globe actually recommended the graphic novel “In Search of Lost Time” as one of their top summer reads (alongside “Go Set A Watchman” and Nell Zink’s “Mislaid.”)

It’s also interesting to note that Marcel Proust required 14 years to write “In Search of Lost Time” (also known as Swann’s Way), while Shephane Heuet took fifteen years. So there you have it: authoritative evidence that it was more difficult to draw than to write.

One great caveat: I feel like the reading experience must be fundamentally different because of how slowly one must wade through the dense and serpentine prose, yet it’s possible to read the graphic novel with incredible speed. Just the pacing alone must make for a completely different experience.

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