This 1999 study examines the connections between Proust's fin-de-siecle 'nervousness' and his apprehensions regarding literary form. Michael Finn shows that Proust's anxieties both about bodily weakness and about novel-writing were fed by a set of intriguing psychological and medical texts, and were mirrored in the nerve-based afflictions of earlier writers including Flaubert, Baudelaire, Nerval and the Goncourt brothers. Finn argues that once Proust cast off his concerns about being a nervous weakling he was freed to poke fun both at the supposed purity of the novel form. Hysteria - as a figure and as a theme - becomes a key to the Proustian narrative, and a certain kind of wordless, bodily copying of gesture and event is revealed to be at the heart of a writing technique which undermines many of the conventions of fiction.
Buy Proust, the Body and Literary Form book by Michael R. Finn from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(228mm x 152mm x 16mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: