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Proust for Merleau-Ponty : the Alter Ego

Authors
  • Simon, Anne
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2020
Source
HAL-Descartes
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown
External links

Abstract

Merleau-Ponty had a long-term relationship with Proust. Their association, for that is the appropriate word, was a continuous interaction, never denied, which was connected to the evolution of Merleau-Ponty’s theoretical and written positions, in a gradual reception curve that ended up profoundly permeating the philosopher’s arguments with the novelist’s prose to the extent that we can speak of a shared “style of thinking.” There is in Merleau-Ponty a “Proust’s tone” which never stops resonating because, between the novel and the philosophical treatise, the “rings” of the former to the “chiasm” of the latter, both authors are moved by a shared project: to develop an aesthetic of rapport or intertwining without invoking the obsolete subject/object duality. His early and continuous immersion in the Recherche and passionate reading of Jean Santeuil as soon as it appeared in the early 1950s turned Proust into an increasingly important reference for Merleau-Ponty. The philosopher was particularly fascinated by the transformation of existential duration into a novelistic language, a movement of reciprocal interiorization.

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