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Science and Structure in Proust'sA la recherche du temps perdu$
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Nicola Luckhurst

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198160021

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198160021.001.0001

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(p.6) 1 Maxims
Science and Structure in Proust's

Nicola Luckhurst

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses specifically on the readings of maxims and the intertextual connections between Proust and the moralistes. The influence of 17th-century literature is striking in Proust's early writing. The development of his readings of the moralistes, and in particular of La Bruyére, illustrates the shift from a reader's to a writer's approach. Proust's concern with continuity and ideal interactive reading of scenarios is shared by other writers whose discussion of poetics includes a consideration of sententiousness. The literal and dynamic-metaphoric readings of Proust's science point a rich variety of law statements in A la recherche. Meanwhile, the mathematician and philosopher Henri Poincaré aims to take account of what he saw as the necessarily conventional nature of the laws of science, while resisting the nominalist extremes to which should a view should be taken.

Keywords:   La Bruyére, Proust's science, Poincaré's science, moraliste

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