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    Brett, Oliver 2018. Performing Place in French and Italian Queer Documentary Film. p. 1.

  • Print publication year: 2001
  • Online publication date: May 2006

10 - Proust and social spaces


. . . il y a des clichés dans les offices aussi bien que dans les cénacles.

(iv, 428)

. . . there are clichés in the servants’ hall as well as in social coteries.

(vi, 195/230)

The promotion in Proust's novel of inner psychological states is regularly reinforced by the Narrator's pronouncements on their importance. Thus our social life stands ostensibly as inferior to the intricate workings of private memory; time spent in society is deemed wasted, whereas according time to introspective contemplation is commended. The aesthetic solutions proposed in Le Temps retrouvé confirm this assumption. The fact that the Narrator, through involuntary memory, rediscovers his private past that is now to be immortalised in the work of art reinforces the view that the internal psychological ruminations of the Narrator should override the social. Reflecting on friendship, which signals the social, the Narrator protests that the self loses its true orientation, becoming 'hospitalisé dans une individualité étrangère' (ii, 689) ['hospitalised in an extraneous individuality' (iii, 456/541)].

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The Cambridge Companion to Proust
  • Online ISBN: 9780511999727
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