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«Je,» «il,» and «vous»

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


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.