Time and the «I» – In Search of Lost Time
Marcel Proust’s monumental work, considered one of the most important of all time, has been studied, evaluated, dissected by countless experts and enthusiastic readers. It is possible that everything has already been said about this cult book, divided into seven volumes, three of which were published posthumously. We know that Proust carefully (and exuberantly) recreated the past through the power of memory. Simultaneously, in a stroke of genius, he transformed life into Art, creating an inimitable aesthetic. Harold Bloom, in his Western Canon, refers to In Search of Lost Time as “the true persuasion of sexual jealousy” and there is no doubt that this overwhelming feeling runs through the entire work. But we cannot restrict the analysis to jealousy and nostalgia, since the author includes, in his densely woven web, references to philosophy, sociology, art, music, customs, sexuality, politics and, above all, to a revolutionary idea of Time. All these areas, and many more, are the object of reflection throughout the narrative, which makes Em Busca do Tempo Perdido a novel that has no end. A large number of characters correspond to figures of the time and the events subtly inscribed in their lives marked the passage from the 19th century to the 20th century, giving us an essential perspective of this turning time. In the sessions we will dedicate to In Search of Lost Time, we hope to detail the different aspects of this unusual «novel» and, if possible, discover new approaches and new pleasures.
Helena Vasconcelos recommends the Portuguese translation of Em Busca do Tempo Perdido by Pedro Tamen, edition of Relógio D’Água, Lisbon.