Proust, Photography, and the Time of Life

Book cover for Proust, Photography, and the Time of Life

Proust, Photography, and the Time of Life

Suzanne Guerlac
Berkeley Book Chats
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Through an engagement with the philosophies of Marcel Proust's contemporaries Félix Ravaisson, Henri Bergson, and Georg Simmel, author Suzanne Guerlac (French) presents an original reading of Proust's magnum opus, Remembrance of Things Past (A la recherche du temps perdu). Challenging traditional interpretations, Guerlac argues in Proust, Photography, and the Time of Life (Bloomsbury, 2020) that Proust's novel is not a melancholic text, but one that records the dynamic time of change and the complex vitality of the real.

Situating Proust's novel within a modernism of money, and broadening her analysis through the exploration of visual technologies and cultural developments of the period — including commercial photography, photojournalism, and pornography — Guerlac reveals that Proust's true subject is the adventure of living in time, on both the individual and the social level, at a concrete historical moment.

Guerlac is joined by Damon Young (French and Film & Media). After a brief discussion, they respond to questions from the audience.

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