Proust's in Search of Lost Time: Philosophical Perspectives (Paperback)
With the story of a madeleine dipped in tea, Marcel Proust makes famous moments that transport one to an earlier time thought lost forever. His In Search of Lost Time announces a quest narrative with lost time as its goal. We follow the journey of a young man as he strives to become the writer he longs to be, and his journey entails discovering a sense of self in which past and present intertwine. The narrator is delayed in his goal by various digressions, including journeys into the worlds of the salons and of art. For this reason, the novel offers far more avenues for philosophical reflection than simply a meditation on time and identity. In Search of Lost Time includes reflections on love and jealousy, joy and suffering, the enchantments of art and the disillusionments of friendship. This volume brings together prominent philosophers and critics to illuminate these many themes. Eight essays treat a wide range of topics including fiction, biography, temporality, music, love, jealousy, weather, and consciousness. One of the longest and most complex novels ever written, In Search of Lost Time has fascinated philosophers for decades. The contributors in this volume build upon earlier approaches to offer new avenues and directions for philosophical thought.
Katherine Elkins is Professor of Humanities and Comparative Literature at Kenyon College, where she is director of the college's oldest interdisciplinary program and founding Co-Director of the Digital Humanities Colab. Her recent work on AI, philosophy, and language can be found in The Journal of Cultural Analytics, Narrative, and a forthcoming book on Kurt Vonnegut's The Shapes of Stories.