Kristeva is a critic of great psychoanalytic insight who is also finely sensitive to the complex rhetorical and syntactical elaboration of Proust's world.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in her long meditations on the crucial Proustian figures of the homosexual and the Jew -- two social outsiders who are disguised doubles for the artist. Her pages on the Baron de Charlus -- the most important representative of Sodom in the novel -- are both complex and luminous.
If "sexual identity guarantees our psychic unity," she writes, this unity is always threatened from within. Homosexuality, in Proust's rendering of it, reveals the latent psychosis of all identity, only tenuously held in check. Kristeva brilliantly illuminates Proust's compulsive concern with Jewish identity, which reaches its political and moral crisis when the Dreyfus affair irrupts into the novel.
Her complex argument works toward the conclusion that Proust eventually subverts the pretensions of exclusive ethnic and class-bound identities -- and this surely is one of Proust's principal claims to our ethical attention. Finally, Ms.
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Kristeva as textual analyst provides striking and rewarding readings of the Proustian sentence -- especially the last sentence, much revised but never given final form, of "Time Regained," where in the additions and through the crossings-out one can trace "the architecture. Books Proust on the Couch. View on timesmachine.
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Thursday 26 September Smells can trigger emotional memories, study finds Smells can transport us back to powerful and emotional memories from the past more effectively than sounds, a study shows, supporting a theory by Marcel Proust. Related Articles. Science News.
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