Proust's Imaginary Museum

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Peter Lang, 2008 - Literary Criticism - 232 pages
This study of Marcel Proust's creative imagination examines an aspect of the novel that has hitherto been largely overlooked: the author's dependence on secondary visual sources. Proust made constant use of reproductions - photographs, engravings, postcards, illustrations in books - as sources of reference and as narrative devices in their own right. Furthermore, he consistently chose to use reproductions in preference to originals, whether people, places or works of art. Bringing together for the first time a mass of factual information documenting Proust's use of second-hand images, the author argues that reproductions play a key role in the work's complex, multi-layered structure. Rather than being hampered by their limitations, Proust took advantage of their distancing effect to free his imagination and to insert new layers of meaning into his narrative.

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List of Illustrations
Prousts reliance on the reproduced image
Proust and photography portraits and imagery
The structural role of reproductions

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About the author (2008)

The Author: Gabrielle Townsend read Modern Languages at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. After a career at a senior level in publishing she returned to academic study, gaining an M.A. in Cultural Memory at the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, University of London, and then went on to complete a D.Phil. on Proust at Oxford University, supervised by Prof. Malcolm Bowie. She currently helps edit an academic journal and tutors Oxford undergraduates in French literature.

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