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«Je,» «il,» and «vous»

Narrator, Protagonist, and Narratee from «Jean Santeuil» to «A la recherche»

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Ian McCall

This study traces the development in Proust's portrayal of his narrator, major protagonist, and narratee from his early abandoned novel Jean Santeuil to A la recherche. It adopts a thematic approach and examines many of the published drafts from Proust's Cahiers, as well as the implications of some of the expansions he made to A la recherche in the later years of writing his novel. Focusing on the author's change from third-person narration in Jean Santeuil to first-person narration in A la recherche, the study gives new insights into Proust's compositional methods and sheds light on how his attitude toward his narrator, protagonist, and narratee evolved throughout his career as a writer.