Science and Structure in Proust's a la Recherche Du Temps Perdu (Oxford Modern Languages and Literature Monographs)

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9780198160021: Science and Structure in Proust's a la Recherche Du Temps Perdu (Oxford Modern Languages and Literature Monographs)
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Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu is a hybrid, a novel-essay, a capacious work of fiction containing a commonplace-book. It might, as Roland Barthes has suggested, be thought of as the product of profound and cherished indecision, Proust's indecision between two styles of writing, the moralistic and the fictive/novelistic/romanesque. Structure and Science is an exploration of this indecision.

The shorter Proust, Proust the moraliste, is a prolific writer of maxims, from the laws of the passions to the aesthetic manifesto of the Temps retrouvé to the [?rapacious] teeming/fertile/spawning/exuberant/luxuriant reflection(s) on sexuality, politics, society. Yet these maxims, whose grammar lays claim to timelessness, are bound up in narrative, the story of their evolution. And disintegration. Proust's moralizing exposes our affective relationship with law statements, with authority, and it is this question that engages A la recherche in an epistemological debate which crosses the boundaries between the two cultures, art and science. What might be called the epistemological alertness of Proust's text is explored at this interface between 'modernist' science and literature.

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Interesting and timely study ... this is a very welcome contribution to Proust studies - not least for the connections made between Proust's writing and the theories of contemporaneous scientists, notably Poincaré (Forum for Modern Language Studies)

Luckhurst convincingly redraws the map to show the common geography of literature and science; any stodgy, pedantic hesitations are soon cast aside as Luckhurst guides us through the 'abundant metaphoric, speculative, and regulatory presence' of science in the recherche. (Margaret E. Gray, Times Literary Supplement)

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