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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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Theory and Practice of Sensual Reading

Theory and Practice of Sensual Reading

(p.130) 5 Theory and Practice of Sensual Reading
Reading in Proust's A la recherche

Adam Watt (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the pivotal scene in the library in Le Temps retrouvé (IV, 445–96), examining the narrator's concerns with sensation, the impression, and the problematic interactions of the intellect and the senses—concerns which also reflexively involve Proust's readers. Many of the preoccupations and motifs studied in earlier chapters re-emerge as the narrator takes stock of how he has arrived at this point. Emphasis is placed on how reading has primed narrator and readers alike for a more profound engagement with the self and a richer sensual apprehension of the material world. Reading is a process of creative translation, integral to the production of the narrator's future work of art and to our own self-understanding. Lastly, the chapter assesses how the narrator's reading of his acquaintances at the ‘Bal de têtes’ provides a final link between the worldly and the aesthetic.

Keywords:   library, sensation, impression, intellect, senses, reading, self, sensual, material, translation

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