Reading Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu is a unique experience. Its title indicates a process and an uncertain journey, driven by a lost object that refuses to materialize. Under these conditions, the narrator exposes readers to the domains of sensation, memory, and the address, pinpointing the irreducible gap between a subject's intimate life and what can be said and presented to others.
Through close-reading workshops in English and French, as well as critical discussions that engage major commentators of the Recherche, this seminar invites participants to begin the Recherche or to regain this experience in 2022, which marks the centennial of Proust's death. Participants may read in French or English and discussions will be in English, engaging with the original text's specificity and with the challenges of translation.
French students will read the first four volumes of the Folio Classique edition or the corresponding volumes of the 1987 Pléiade edition. Non-French speakers will use the Modern Library edition. Detailed information about these options is available under "Works" on the Proust Research Guide, a widely used scholarly resource curated by UB Humanities Librarian and seminar collaborator Dr. Mike Kicey (https://research.lib.buffalo.edu/proust/works-in-french#s-lg-box-wrapper-22465687).
Non-RLL graduate students: this class can be taken as intensive or extensive; the syllabus is the same for both sections but the workload differs. Please contact your Director of Graduate Studies and/or your advisor to discuss which section is best for your individual situation.