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The body of letters in Proust's Albertine Disparue

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Title: The body of letters in Proust's Albertine Disparue
Author: Springer, Frances Evelyn
Degree Master of Arts - MA
Program French
Copyright Date: 1993
Abstract: In this second to last volume of "A la recherche du temps perdu," Proust's hero turns from a busy world of receptions and grandes soirées to a more introspective, contemplative world of writing letters, which, in its way, is just as instructive to the aspiring writer as are the lessons he learned from stepping out into high society. The large body of letters in "Albertine disparue" offers Marcel the opportunity to experience at first hand how written language functions. In effect, language and how it generates meaning in Proustian terms is one of the central issues in the Albertine sequence. I study how this unique experience with a varied and substantial correspondence allows the hero to penetrate the mysteries of the written word. I proceed with a detailed examination of the various letters and telegrams, dividing them into different categories and determining how these letters fit into the storyline, i.e., how they relate to the structure of the narrative text. Subsequently, I examine how the interpretation of these letters informs the hero's understanding of language. "Albertine disparue" raises questions about the relationship of words and their meaning, and about writing and its ability to represent reality. Ultimately, Marcel responds to these questions as he learns how language signifies for him through his extensive personal experience with the written word in the large corpus of letters in "Albertine disparue."
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/1470
Series/Report no. UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project [http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/retro_theses/]
Scholarly Level: Graduate

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