Proust, Class, and Nation

Proust, Class, and Nation

Edward J. Hughes / Nov 18, 2019

Proust Class and Nation Writing in Julien Benda described France as being afflicted by the twin scourges of narrow class based politics and rabid nationalism He nevertheless identified Marcel Proust who had died in

  • Title: Proust, Class, and Nation
  • Author: Edward J. Hughes
  • ISBN: 9780199609864
  • Page: 309
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Writing in 1927, Julien Benda described France as being afflicted by the twin scourges of narrow, class based politics and rabid nationalism He nevertheless identified Marcel Proust who had died in 1922 as a writer who had refused to embrace the ideological narrowness of his age Edward J Hughes seeks to assess how Proust and his novel A la recherche du temps perdu migWriting in 1927, Julien Benda described France as being afflicted by the twin scourges of narrow, class based politics and rabid nationalism He nevertheless identified Marcel Proust who had died in 1922 as a writer who had refused to embrace the ideological narrowness of his age Edward J Hughes seeks to assess how Proust and his novel A la recherche du temps perdu might be understood in relation to issues of class and nation A la recherche was produced in momentous times As an extended textual construction, first conceived of in 1908 and the last tranche of which appeared posthumously almost two decades later, it was assembled against a backdrop of major historical events pre war tensions in the wake of the Dreyfus Affair and the Separation of Church and State issues on which Proust had campaigned publicly the First World War and the atmosphere of narrow nationalism and Germanophobia which the conflict generated and the continuing polarization in class politics in the years after the First World War These all find echoes in A la recherche and Hughes establishes how the exposure given to questions of class and nation needs to be understood historically He demonstrates that the frequently entrenched positions of Proust s contemporaries at times square with the language and images of social conservativism to be found in A la recherche Yet alongside that, Hughes unearths evidence that points to Proust as a free floating, often playful, iconoclast and radical commentator who, as Theodor Adorno observed, resisted bourgeois compartmentalization.

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