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The Tragedy Of Having A Lover: The Crystallization Of Odette And Albertine In À La Recherche Du Temps Perdu

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Chapter Summary

The topic of this chapter is the tragic nature of Proustian love. In order to understand the tragedy at stake in À la Recherche du temps perdu, the chapter offers a reading of Proust?s text that engages the ethical theory of Gabriel Marcel. It shows that Proustian love, approached through the philosophy of Gabriel Marcel, is a common yet significant instance of the tragic. The chapter first outlines part of Marcel?s theory and then shows how it can gain in depth and significance by applying it to À la Recherche. The integration of these two accounts then allows the author to elaborate on the claim that romantic love can be the locus of tragedy. Swann?s love for Odette, or the narrator?s love for Albertine, is aimed at reducing the person loved to a possession, something that admits of an objective, problematic approach.

Keywords: À la Recherche du temps perdu; Albertine; Gabriel Marcel; locus of tragedy; Odette; Proustian love



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