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By: Nicola Luckhurst
  • Title Book: Science and Structure in Proust s A la Recherche Du Temps Perdu
  • Author : Nicola Luckhurst
  • ISBN 10: 9780198160021
  • ISBN 13: 019816002X
  • Publisher : Clarendon Press
  • Category : Language Arts & Disciplines / Linguistics / General
  • Languages : en (Available in All Languages)
  • Pages : 262

Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu is a hybrid, a novel-essay, a capacious work of fiction containing a commonplace-book. It might, as Roland Barthes has suggested, be thought of as the product of profound and cherished indecision, Proust's indecision between two styles of writing, themoralistic and the fictive/novelistic/romanesque. Structure and Science is an exploration of this indecision. The shorter Proust, Proust the moraliste, is a prolific writer of maxims, from the laws of the passions to the aesthetic manifesto of the Temps retrouve to the [?rapacious] teeming/fertile/spawning/exuberant/luxuriant reflection(s) on sexuality, politics, society. Yet these maxims, whose grammarlays claim to timelessness, are bound up in narrative, the story of their evolution. And disintegration. Proust's moralizing exposes our affective relationship with law statements, with authority, and it is this question that engages A la recherche in an epistemological debate which crosses theboundaries between the two cultures, art and science. What might be called the epistemological alertness of Proust's text is explored at this interface between 'modernist' science and literature.

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