Moi et plus que moi : Absence and Presence in · la recherche du temps perdu
Anglemire, Carlie Marie
MetadataShow full item record
For Marcel Proust's narrator of · la recherche du temps perdu, the"moi et plus-que-moi," this excess of being of friends, family, and lovers, is an essential element of life that he does not want to escape as long as an exploration of the creative depth of his personal identity is not irrevocably barred. Although he expresses a longing to abscond from others in order to have aesthetically rich experiences and articulates the cynical view that we are mere caricatures of ourselves with friends and in relationships, he also expresses the anxiety of waiting for someone to arrive, the feeling of preponderant loss in death and departure of people such as his grandmother and mother, and the illuminating surprise of the arrival of a friend who gives him something that he could not have given himself. In Alain de Botton's How Proust Can Change Your Life, he notes that Proust wanted to help people through a literary engagement, just as his father, who was a famous doctor, had helped the sick. This thesis essay is accordingly an exploration of what a young woman can learn about perplexing human relationships from one of the literary masterpieces of the early twentieth century. How do we form, transform, fathom, and discover self-identity and the multiplicity of facets of the identities of others, and what are the conditions for living expressively? What are the roles of the multitude of people that we encounter throughout our lives, and how can we effectively temper openness to alterity with a carefully formed solitary life apart?