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Mirages and mad beliefs : Proust the skeptic

Author: Christopher Prendergast
Publisher: Princeton : Princeton University Press, ©2013.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Marcel Proust was long the object of a cult in which the main point of reading his great novel In Search of Lost Time was to find, with its narrator, a redemptive epiphany in a pastry and a cup of lime-blossom tea. We now live in less confident times, in ways that place great strain on the assumptions and beliefs that made those earlier readings possible. This has led to a new manner of reading Proust, against the  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Named Person: Marcel Proust; Marcel Proust; Marcel Proust; Marcel Proust
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Christopher Prendergast
ISBN: 9780691155203 0691155208
OCLC Number: 808108574
Description: 220 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: Mad belief --
Proustian jokes --
Magic --
Eblouissement --
What's in a comma? --
Walking on stilts --
Bodies and ghosts --
The citizen of the unknown homeland.
Responsibility: Christopher Prendergast.

Abstract:

Marcel Proust was long the object of a cult in which the main point of reading his great novel In Search of Lost Time was to find, with its narrator, a redemptive epiphany in a pastry and a cup of lime-blossom tea. We now live in less confident times, in ways that place great strain on the assumptions and beliefs that made those earlier readings possible. This has led to a new manner of reading Proust, against the grain. In Mirages and Mad Beliefs, Christopher Prendergast argues the case differently, with the grain, on the basis that Proust himself was prey to self-doubt and found numerous, if indirect, ways of letting us know. Prendergast traces in detail the locations and forms of a quietly nondogmatic yet insistently skeptical voice that questions the redemptive aesthetic the novel is so often taken to celebrate, bringing the reader to wonder whether that aesthetic is but another instance of the mirage or the mad belief that, in other guises, figures prominently in In Search of Lost Time. In tracing the modalities of this self-pressuring voice, Prendergast ranges far and wide, across a multiplicity of ideas, themes, sources, and stylistic registers in Proust's literary thought and writing practice, attentive at every point to inflections of detail, in a sustained account of Proust the skeptic for the contemporary reader. --

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Winner of the 2015 R. Gapper Prize, Society for French Studies "[A] deliciously rich interrogation of the French novelist's oeuvre... Prendergast has baked a millefeuille of a book here, crisp, rich Read more...

 
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