When Marcel Proust started to work on In Search of Lost Time in 1908, he wrote this question in his notebook: ‘Should I make it a novel, a philosophical study, am I a novelist?’ Throughout his famous multi-volume work, Proust directly engages several philosophers, and few novels are as thoroughly saturated with philosophical themes and concepts as In Search of Lost Time.
The Proustian Mind is an outstanding reference source to the rich philosophical range of Proust’s work and the first major volume of its kind. Including 31 chapters by an international team of contributors, the volume is divided into seven clear parts:
- Proust’s life and works
- metaphysics and epistemology
- mind and language
- gender and sexuality
- predecessors, contemporaries and successors.
Within these sections, key Proustian themes are explored from a philosophical standpoint, including time, the self, memory, imagination, jealousy, beauty, love, subjectivity and desire. The final section considers Proust in relation to important philosophers such as Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Bergson, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, de Beauvoir and Deleuze.
The Proustian Mind is essential reading for those studying aesthetics, philosophy of literature, phenomenology and ethics, and will also be of interest to those in literature studying modernism, French literature and the relationship between literature and philosophy.
Table of Contents
Introduction Anna Elsner and Thomas Stern
Part 1: Life and Works 1. Marcel Proust: A Student of Philosophy William Carter 2. Proust’s Philosophical Training Luc Fraisse
Part 2: Metaphysics & Epistemology 3. The Mind in Time: Proust, Involuntary Memory, and the Adventure in Perception Garry L. Hagberg 4. In Search of Lost Place Anna Elsner 5. “Only Through Time Time is Conquered”: Proust on Death Andrew Huddleston 6. The Self Ben Colburn 7. Knowledge Adam Watt 8. The Pursuit of Uncertainty: Knowledge, Deferral and Self-Defeat in Proust Richard Moran
Part 3: Mind and Language 9. Memory Simon Kemp 10. Proustian Habit Thomas Stern 11. Subjectivity: A Proustian Problem Robert B. Pippin 12. Speech Michael Lucey
Part 4: Aesthetics 13. Contemplating a Proustian Library Virginie Greene 14. The experience of beauty in Proust – a Freudian account Julia Peters and Anna-Lisa Sander 15. The Arts Jennifer Rushworth 16. Art and the Life-World: The Duck, the Rabbit and the Madeleine Gary Kemp
Part 5: Ethics 17. Proust and the Philosophy of Love Martin Buijs 18. Proust and Lying: Ethics and Aesthetics David Ellison 19. “Each of us is indeed alone”: Vulnerability in In Search of Lost Time Roos Slegers 20. Proust’s Abraham, the Other L. Scott Lerner
Part 6: Gender and Sexuality 21. The Logic of Gomorrah: Proust and the Subversion of Identities Justine Balibar 22. Proust on Desire Satisfaction Robbie Kubala 23. Proustian Jealousy Elisabeth Ladenson
Part 7: In conversation with predecessors, contemporaries and successors 24. Proust and Romanticism Michael N. Forster 25. Proust and Schopenhauer David Bather Woods 26. Proust and Bergson: Fierce Criticality Suzanne Guerlac 27. Proust and Nietzsche on Self-Fashioning: Towards a Post-Metaphysical Reading of Proust Antoine Panaioti 28. The alter ego: Merleau-Ponty Anne Simon 29. Proust the Phenomenologist: Sartre and Beauvoir as Readers of Proust Lior Levy 30. Proust-Machine: Gilles Deleuze Thomas Baldwin and Patrick ffrench 31. Proust and Philosophical Influence Sebastian Gardner.