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Creative Development in Marcel Proust’s «A la recherche du temps perdu»


Jeffrey Johnson

This book focuses on creative development and empowerment in Marcel Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu. It demonstrates Proust’s proof of the Romantic notion that art originates in the self of the artist. Approached as a Bildungsroman, the psychological aspects of this development in Marcel, the principal character, are considered in terms of the stimulus/response mechanism in living organisms. It verifies Proust’s argument that time in the body, including all that one experiences unconsciously, is present within us whether it is accessible to memory or not.
Through involuntary memories and inspiration at the end of the novel, Marcel finds the means to write the book he has long wished to write. Inspiration provides a link between Marcel, the novel’s protagonist, and Proust, its author. This volume balances its analysis of Marcel’s creative development and empowerment through inspiration with Proust’s experiences in May 1909, when he realized that the concept of the fourth dimension would serve as the unifying thread for his novel. Modernity is viewed as a crucial influence in the transformation of society that Proust’s novel chronicles. This study posits an allegorical reading of the novel in the relationship of the birth of the modern citizen to the making of an artist in an era of doubt.


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Abbreviations xvii


Abbreviations References to A la recherche du temps perdu are double. The first citation is to the French text, in this case, the single volume Gallimard Quarto paperback edition of the novel (1999). The citations are prefaced with a “G” for Gallimard and then an abbreviation in parenthesis of the volume followed by page number. The volume abbreviations are as follows: (CS) – Du côté de chez Swann (JF) – À l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs (CG) – Le Côté de Guermantes (SG) – Sodome et Gomorrhe (LP) – Le Prisonnière (AD) – Albertine disparue (TR) – Le Temps retrouvé The second citation in the series is to the six volume paperback edition of In Search of Lost Time, trans. C. K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin revised by D. J. Enright, and published by the Modern Library 1998. The citation is prefaced with an “SLT” for In Search of Lost Time. It is followed by a roman numeral in parenthesis for the volume number (I-VI), followed by a page number. References to Contre Sainte-Beuve are also double. Again, the first citation is to the French text. CSB Contre Sainte-Beuve (Paris: Gallimard, 1954) CSB II Contre Sainte-Beuve, in Marcel Proust: On Art and Literature, 1896-1919, trans. Silvia Townsend Warner (New York: Carroll &* Graaf, Inc. 2nd edition, 1997) CSB III Contre Sainte-Beuve: précédé de Pastiches et mélanges et suivi de Essais et articles (Paris: Éditions Gallimard, 1971) 1_Proust_FM-Preface.indd 17 2/28/12 11:46 PM 1_Proust_FM-Preface.indd 18 2/28/12 11:46...

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