By Christopher Prendergast
Marcel Proust used to be lengthy the thing of a cult during which the most aspect of examining his nice novel looking for misplaced Time was once to discover, with its narrator, a redemptive epiphany in a pastry and a cup of lime-blossom tea. We now stay in much less convinced instances, in ways in which position nice pressure at the assumptions and ideology that made these prior readings attainable. This has resulted in a brand new demeanour of analyzing Proust, opposed to the grain. In Mirages and Mad ideals, Christopher Prendergast argues the case in a different way, with the grain, at the foundation that Proust himself used to be prey to self-doubt and located a number of, if oblique, methods of letting us understand. Prendergast lines intimately the destinations and kinds of a quietly nondogmatic but insistently skeptical voice that questions the redemptive aesthetic the radical is so frequently taken to have a good time, bringing the reader to wonder if that aesthetic is yet one other example of the mirage or the mad trust that, in different guises, figures prominently in looking for misplaced Time. In tracing the modalities of this self-pressuring voice, Prendergast levels all over, throughout a multiplicity of principles, subject matters, assets, and stylistic registers in Proust's literary concept and writing perform, attentive at each element to inflections of element, in a sustained account of Proust the skeptic for the modern reader.
"From Bergson to Sebald, Prendergast's new ebook demonstrates his fabulous succeed in. Delving into the smallest info and biggest rules, in addition to Proust's personal 'truth written due to figures,' this research of his skeptic standpoint is as deep because it is wide."--Mary Ann Caws, writer of Marcel Proust
"Christopher Prendergast extracts new and unique meanings out of the best-known pages in Proust. this can be the profitable upshot of shut and perspicuous readings that demonstrate ambiguities and paradoxes in passages whose interpretations are frequently taken with no consideration. Prendergast's admiration, faraway from blinding him, results in his researching the power in Proust's free ends."--Antoine Compagnon, Collge de France and Columbia University
"Through exemplary shut analyzing and noteworthy awareness to textual element, this ebook bargains a high-powered serious argument that basically pits Proust opposed to himself--the romantic aesthete opposed to the ironic doubter, the author who conquers time opposed to the person who knows how completely misplaced it may be. This paintings will problem and change many present readings of Proust and, via implication, different writers."--Michael wooden, Princeton University
"In Mirages and Mad ideals, Prendergast identifies a skeptical pressure in Proust's writing marking the novelist's resistance to his personal obvious ideals. this can be the paintings of an immense critic on the best of his video game: witty, profound, and hugely readable, whereas assembly most sensible criteria of scholarship in its demonstrate of erudition and appreciate for assets. It merits to be commonly read."--Michael Sheringham, college of Oxford
"[A] deliciously wealthy interrogation of the French novelist's oeuvre. . . . Prendergast has baked a millefeuille of a booklet the following, crisp, wealthy and multilayered. learn it for its exposition of jokes, of magic, attraction and spectrality, of the Proustian physique (a position 'where we are living yet now not the place we're at home'), in addition to for its awkward questions. Refusing to regard Proust as a celebrant, this booklet interrogates his gloriously mad undertaking, whereas additionally amply gratifying its goal to 'stay alert, with the most alert minds of contemporary literature.'"--Mary Bryden, instances better schooling