1st Edition

Proust's Recherche A Psychoanalytic Interpretation

By Randolph Splitter Copyright 1981

    Originally published in 1981 and now reissued with a new preface by Randolph Splitter, this volume examines Proust’s novel A la recherche du temps perdu from a psychoanalytic viewpoint, showing that Marcel, the central character, like the novel itself, is characterized by an unstable equilibrium of opposing forces, so that he wishes both to dissolve the boundaries between inner and outer worlds, and to maintain divisions and defenses. Instead of trying to force the text into a rigid theoretical structure this reading of Proust’s novel illuminates it by confronting and re-examining the problems that Freudian theory itself addresses. In considering these problems, the author also takes into account the findings of modern French psychoanalysis and literary criticism, referring particularly to the work of Jacques Lacan and Jacques Derrida.

    1. Marcel in Wonderland, or the Logic of Magical Thinking 2. The ‘Economic’ Problem in Proust and Freud 3. Bonds of Love and Kinship 4. Proust, Joyce and the Metaphor of Flowers 5. Reminiscence, Metaphor and Art 6. Proust’s Myth of Artistic Creation 7. Theoretical Conclusion: Psychoanalysis, Literary Theory, and Recent Proust Criticism.


    Randolph Splitter graduated from Hamilton College and received a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He taught at the California Institute of Technology, where a Nobel prize-winning biophysicist gave him a copy of Proust’s article "Filial Sentiments of a ‘Parricide,’" and at De Anza College. In addition to his book on Proust, he has published three works of fiction: Body and Soul; The Ramadan Drummer; and The Third Man, about refugees from Vienna in the late 1930s. He is currently working on a new novel, set in Vienna in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, from Freud to "Red Vienna."