Joseph Acquisto | Proust, Music, and Meaning |Palgrave Macmillan | 2017

Acquisto, Joseph, Proust, Music, and Meaning : Theories and Practices of Listening in the Recherche, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.

This book is about reading Proust’s novel via philosophical and musicological approaches to “modern” listening.

It articulates how insights into the way we listen to and understand classical music inform the creation of literary meaning. It asks: are we to take at face value the ideas about art that the novel contains, or are those part of the fiction? Is there a difference between what the novel says and what it does, and how can music provide a key to answering that question? According to this study, Proust asks us to temporalize our interpretation by recognizing the distance between initial and final experiences of the novel, and by being open to the ways in which it challenges attempts at interpretive closure. Proust’s novel responds to the kind of attentive and eternally changing perspectives that can be generated from music and our attempts to make sense of it.