Proust and Emotion: The Importance of Affect in "A la recherche du temps perdu"
Published: December 2003© 2003
320 Pages, 6.20 x 9.27 x 1.06 in
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In Proust and Emotion, Inge Crosman Wimmers proposes a new approach to A la recherche du temps perdu that centres on the role of affect. Through close reading of the hero-narrator's personal history, the author shows how emotional paradigms (especially separation anxiety), involuntary memory, and other compelling impressions give focus and structure to Proust's novel. Drawing on reader-oriented and emotion theories, she shows how affect commands the attention of the 'motivated reader' and is crucial to the process of self-understanding for both the narrator and the reader.
This is the first extensive study in English to take fully into consideration the drafts (esquisses) published in the new Pléiade edition of the novel, the Mauriac edition of Albertine disparue, and material from the unpublished Proust manuscripts - all of which shed further light on the importance of affect in A la recherche. Proust and Emotion will appeal to readers interested in an approach to Proust that combines insights from philosophy, psychology, and literary aesthetics and in a poetics of reading that pays particular attention to emotion.
'A very engaging, minute, scholarly study, which renews interest in Proust because it takes up, again, after the excesses of formalism, a traditional humanist question on the basis of new scholarship.'Antoine Compagnon, Department of French and Romance Philology, Columbia University