Files List

  • Proust and Space Proust e lo spazio  
    Uploaded by Marisa Verna on 30 April 2013.
    This book collects some articles on a topic often ignored by proustian sholars: Proust and space. The volume is available on the link: zo
  • Les registres linguistiques dans la Recherche du Temps Perdu. L'Affaire Dreyfus  
    Uploaded by Marisa Verna on 24 April 2013.
    Many are the works on the language of proustian characters and the unavoidable critical text by Gérard Genette, Proust et le langage indirect, has by now shown that the emergence of the characters’ deepest psychological dimension is necessarily expressed through an often swerving language: mistakes, omissions, shifts in meaning, and often an unexpected register. Indeed one of the ways, among others, in which A la recherche du Temps Perdu may be interpreted is like a gigantic representation of language: by means of the dynamics between the various ‘languages’ that face each other in the narration (languages of the characters, language of the narrator, the metalanguage, rhetorical creations), the forever imprecise image of the human soul is brought to life amid a constant vibration. In this ‘living flesh’, which is language for Proust, it is possible to identify different levels of analysis: linguistic, social, psychological, esthetic. In different ways, it is the problem of register at each level. Attention will be focused especially on the language of two characters, the duke of Guermantes and Bloch, who seemed to be the most representative of the tangle of relations expressed through the discourse. Very seldom register is felt by Proust as a mere ‘social mark’ (even when it would be the easiest thing to expect, as in the cases of the liftboy, the character of Aimé and his famous letter to his family, Françoise, her daughter); on the contrary, it is revealing of what Proust calls a ‘place of language’, which “veut qu'on s' exprime comme les gens de sa classe mentale et non de sa caste d' origine” (Côté de Guermantes, II partie). In the language of these two characters it is possible to glimpse the ideological, moral and also psychological issues of the “Affaire”, one of the historical events woven within the Recherche and almost hidden within History’s blur and clear lack of sense. This contribution aims at identifying the role of register - i.e. appearance of new words, of incongruous expressions, of moves that are incoherent with one’s cultural or social belonging - within the representation of this vérité of the human heart principally revealed by language. Indeed shifts of register are clues to the two characters’ deepest attitude, their ‘verité’ regarding an historical event that actually reveals the deepest layers of their soul. The concluding section is focused on the value that register, with its ambiguity, its non-decidability, seems to acquire within proustian esthetics: expression, among other linguistic elements, of the deceitfulness of discourse to which only the language of art is able to reply.