Proust’s Tribute to the Multifarious Ways of Desire
Proust’s narrator/protagonist is distinctive in being lucid about a fault-line underlying commonsensical experience, susceptible to the opening up of an abyss of sufficiency.
To reiterate a problematic for Remembrance of Things Past…the phenomenon of love is an unruly alien within Proust’s enterprise, which …regards all interpersonal action as an assault upon true focus, and, at best, footage for subsequent, solitary discoveries.
It is not only a case, therefore, of displaying the ruin into which a primordial issue leads, but also suggesting individual shortcomings within that initiative. Thereby, some kind of hedging of the determinist thesis of oblivion would appear to be in play.
Amidst such evidence of the dismaying juggernaut of human manifestation, Proust stitches together a rationale for the edifying disclosure constituting his novel.
The mobilization toward efficacy violates the narrative’s sureness of touch in disclosing suspenseful, richly problematic intentionality of historical action.
The discrepancies we have just noted cannot be ascribed to carelessness. Proust’s novel is brilliantly constructed and a paragon of subtlety. It is, however, conspicuously not the enthused-over compendium of ideas and laws which would instill in a reader a primordial sense of beauty, love and power. Remembrance of Things Past is a compelling manifestation of a deadly viscosity about human life, which confronts every individual with a difficult deployment of freedom to maintain a nourishing dynamic. That latter consideration casts a skeptical shaft upon the unilateral declaration of a world of paralysis, to be offset by the conjuring of tiny vital signs.
The novel finds its way into a historical disposition undermining its fertile acts. There is evidence that Proust is quite aware of a universe of originary power unexplored by his effort, a universe in which literary genius would play a far more modest role than he was wont to covet.