Proust. Philosophy of the Novel

December 2, 2020
Proust. Philosophy of the Novel

Through the voice of the narrator of Remembrance of Things Past,Proust observes of the painter Elstir that the paintings are bolderthan the artist; Elstir the painter is bolder than Elstir thetheorist. This book applies the same distinction Proust; theProustian novel is bolder than Proust the theorist.By this the author means that the novel is philosophicallybolder, that it pursues further the task Proust identifies as thewriter's work: to explain life, to elucidate what has been lived inobscurity and confusion. In this, the novelist and the philosophershare a common goal: to clarify the obscure in order to arrive atthe truth. It follows that Proust's real philosophy of the novel isto be found not in the speculative passages of Remembrance, whichmerely echo the philosophical commonplaces of his time, but in thetruly novelistic or narrative portions of his text.