CHAPTER IV: The re-creation of reality: perspectivism and metaphor
CHAPTER IV The re-creation of reality: perspectivism and metaphor Perspectivism Proust presents people and events in space and time perspectivistically, with each perspective being granted the same legitimacy. The people he had met and whose lives he had followed over the years, he compares with giants submerged in the depth of the years and “simultaneously” in contact with widely separated instances in time. When the narrator, at the end of his book, decides to make an artistic presentation of the people and events of his life, he seeks to describe them in their connection with time, i.e. perspectivistically. It is a conscious deci- sion to use “time” as the first and the last word of A la Recherche. His aim is to present his life “in time”, i.e. perspectivistically. And it is not by chance that the first pages form the perspectivistic overture for his work, beginning as they do with: “For a long time I would go to bed early,”a where he lets the world spin like a top which he then examines as it slows down and admires the multiplicity of perspectives. Proust developed this perspectivistic method relatively late. Neither in Jean Santeuil nor in Contre Sainte-Beuve does he apply it. During the time he was working on Jean Santeuil, Proust describes the fountain of Saint-Cloud, which he knows from a painting by Hubert Robert.1 It is interesting to note the reap- pearance of this fountain in A la Recherche. But if one compares the earlier sketch...
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