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Reading in Proust's A la recherche'le délire de la lecture'$
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Adam Watt

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199566174

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199566174.001.0001

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Primal Scenes of Reading

Primal Scenes of Reading

(p.17) 1 Primal Scenes of Reading
Reading in Proust's A la recherche

Adam Watt (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the revelations of the narrator's childhood ‘Primal Scenes’ of reading (François le Champi with his mother and reading in and out of doors in Combray) from which the narrator receives suggestive, uncertain, and incomplete introductions to the erotic, to literature, independent thought, and sense experience. Arguing counter to Paul de Man, this chapter shows reading to be a richly plural, unstable brand of experience capable of intensely engaging and disengaging both the senses and the intellect of the reader. This instability is shown to be the aspect of reading from which we have most to learn (as shown above all in Chapter 4).

Keywords:   revelation, Primal Scenes, François le Champi, erotic, sense experience, de Man, intellect, instability

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