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Title:Les figures du labyrinthe dans "A la recherche du temps perdu". (French text);
Author(s):Watson, Bruce Stephen
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):De Ley, Herbert
Department / Program:French
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, Modern
Literature, Romance
Abstract:In this dissertation I propose a detailed analysis of four major episodes of Proust's great novel; the visit to Doncieres, the visit to Venice, the death of Albertine and the war passages at the end of the novel. My analysis draws extensively on Proust's unpublished manuscripts which have recently become available through the publication of a new edition of Proust's novel by Gallimard. Through a close reading of several early versions of each of these episodes I develop the problematics of Proust's style and thought.
It is generally admitted that the years of the first world war were of considerable importance for the growth of the Proustian text, since the work tripled in length during this period. A less frequently addressed issue is whether these years altered Proust's own vision of his masterpiece, and if so, in which directions. The death of Albertine and the war episode are of particular importance in this respect as they apparently modify the novel's conclusion in ways unforeseen when Proust wrote the final pages of Le temps retrouve in 1909.
A further connection between these sections of the novel is the labyrinth motif. I approach this motif from a variety of perspectives, studying Gilbert Durand's work on the imagination, Wendy Faris's new book on Labyrinths of Language and the mythical labyrinths of Ovid's Metamorphoses. The variety of perspectives used in my study constitutes my attempt to respond to the great complexity of the Proustian text. A quotation from Ruskin which traces the connections between the labyrinths of classical antiquity and the Gothic cathedrals of medieval catholicism serves as an epigraph for my first chapter; on a wider scale however this quotation provides an Ariadne's thread for the four episodes under examination. Like Mademoiselle de Saint-Loup at the end of the novel, each of these episodes operates as a nodal point, a "carrefour" in the labyrinthine text; each episode draws upon religous or mythical iconography, culminating in the subterreanean metropolitan scenes during the war, related by Proust to ancient Pompey and medieval burial.
Issue Date:1990
Rights Information:Copyright 1990 Watson, Bruce Stephen
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9114454
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9114454

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