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Proustian Passions – The Uses of Self-Justification for A la recherche du temps perdu - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Proustian Passions: The Uses of Self-Justification for A la recherche du temps perdu

Ingrid Wassenaar


A la recherche du temps perdu occupies an undisputed place in the unfolding intellectual history of the ‘moi’ in France. There is, however, a general tendency in writing on this novel to celebrate the wonders of the moi sensible uncritically. This effaces all that is morally dubious or frankly experimental about Proust’s account of selfhood. It denies the rigour with which Proust tries to understand exactly why it is so difficult to explain one’s own actions to another. The great party scenes, for example, or the countless digressions, read like manuals on how acts of self-justifi ... More

Keywords: Proust, A la recherche du temps perdu, selfhood, self-justification, moral weakness, psychological weakness

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2000 Print ISBN-13: 9780198160045
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198160045.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ingrid Wassenaar, author
Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London