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Chapter Summary

According to the author, in order to do justice to the plurality found in À la recherche, one must pay attention to both the madeleine soaked in tea and the untying of the boots, that is, to both the celebration of joyful recollection, truth, and art in the Ouverture and Le temps retrouvé and to what Bowie calls the "vein of disturbing moral speculation" in the "eclipsed" middle volumes of the work. Every privileged moment appeals to the narrator to investigate, but the moral nature of this appeal can be overlooked if one regards only the series of joyful involuntary memories in Le temps retrouvé. The notion of courageous vulnerability takes into account the difficulty of being open to the other but also offers an alternative to the narrator's pessimistic outlook. The normative nature of this notion makes it fit in with the tradition of virtue ethics.

Keywords: À la recherche; involuntary memory; Le temps retrouvé; privileged moment



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