Proust, the One, and the Many
Identity and Difference in A la recherche du temps perdu

Erika Fülöp

Legenda (General Series)

Legenda

1 June 2012  •  216pp

ISBN: 978-1-907975-32-5 (hardback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

ISBN: 978-1-351192-51-4 (Taylor & Francis ebook)

ModernFrenchLife-Writing


One of the many aspects that make Marcel Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu such a complex and subtle work is its engagement with metaphysical questions. The disparate nature of the narrator’s experiences, hypotheses, and statements has generated a number of conflicting interpretations, based on parallels with the thought of one or another philosopher from Plato to Leibniz, Spinoza, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Bergson, or Deleuze. Through the analysis of the narrator’s two seemingly incompatible perceptions of the world, which reveal reality to be either one or infinitely multiple, Erika Fülöp proposes a reading of the novel that reconciles the opposites. Rather than being undecided or self-contradictory, the narrative thematizes the insufficiency of the dualist perspective and invites the reader to take a step beyond it.

Erika Fülöp completed her doctoral research at the University of Aberdeen and is now a College Lecturer in French at New College, Oxford.

Reviews:

  • ‘Il trouvera une bonne place parmi les livres cherchant à éclairer la complexité du roman de Proust à partir de l’approche philosophique.’ — Pascal Ifri, Nineteenth-Century French Studies 41.3-4, 2013, 343-45
  • ‘Fülöp compellingly considers the narrator’s ‘Liminal states of consciousness’ (his experience of waking up, his observing Albertine sleeping, and his drunkenness at Rivebelle) as moments when the world’s challenging multiplicity—and that of the unknowable, plural Other as represented by his beloved Albertine—become, for a time, harmonious and manageable... Will reward readers interested in the overlap and lines of affinity between the domains of literature and philosophy.’ — Adam Watt, Modern and Contemporary France 21.2, 2013, 245-46
  • ‘This well-researched volume covers a vast territory and is a welcome contribution in a field of Proust studies that has long been exploited but is far from being exhausted.’ — Anna Magdalena Elsner, French Studies 67.3, July 2013, 428-29
  • ‘L’originalité de ce livre clair, convaincant et bien documenté consiste à offrir de la Recherche une perspective éthique au sens où le narrateur, qui dès le départ poursuit un projet littéraire, est aussi en quête d’une approche harmonieuse du monde, de la vie et de l’autre.’ — Dominique Poncelet, French Review 88.2, October 2014, 227
  • ‘L’ouvrage d’Erika Fülöp se recommande non seulement par son audace de pensée mais, presque d’avantage encore, par la clarté avec laquelle sont exposées les notions philosophiques qui servent d’instrument à la démonstration. Voué à la philosophie proustienne, cet ouvrage stimulera aussi la réflexion consacrée à la lecture (autre état de conscience liminaire), à l’animalité et à la notion d’inconscient.’ — Dagmar Wieser, Fabula 16.5, May-June 2015

Bibliography entry:

Fülöp, Erika, Proust, the One, and the Many: Identity and Difference in A la recherche du temps perdu (Cambridge: Legenda, 2012)

First footnote reference: 35 Erika Fülöp, Proust, the One, and the Many: Identity and Difference in A la recherche du temps perdu (Cambridge: Legenda, 2012), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Fülöp, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Fülöp, Erika. 2012. Proust, the One, and the Many: Identity and Difference in A la recherche du temps perdu (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Fülöp 2012: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Fülöp 2012: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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