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Discuss Proust's theory of memory - Essay Example

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Time Regained: In Search for Lost Times, Volume VI, the final book in Proust's masterpiece, la recherche du temps perdu, chronicles the years of World War I, when, as M. de Charlus reflects on a moonlit walk, Paris threatens to become another Pompeii. Years later, after the war's end, Proust's narrator returns to Paris, where Mme…
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Discuss Prousts theory of memory
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Time Regained In Search for Lost Times Volume VI From Symbolism to Consciousness Time Regained: In Search for Lost Times, Volume VI, the final book in Proust's masterpiece, la recherche du temps perdu, chronicles the years of World War I, when, as M. de Charlus reflects on a moonlit walk, Paris threatens to become another Pompeii. Years later, after the war's end, Proust's narrator returns to Paris, where Mme. Verdurin has become the Princesse de Guermantes. He reflects on time, reality, jealousy, artistic creation, and the raw material of literature--his past life. This is indispensable to Proust which consists of four separate sections of characters, of real and historical persons, of places, and of themes.
Proust, a contemporary of Freud was greatly influenced by the latter in his philosophical leanings and in literary work. Freud treated symbolism in his book Psychoanalysis. According to this theory he propounded which must have influenced Proust, objects or ideas are represented by symbols. Our dreams can symbolize something we have left unexpressed and remain embedded in our unconscious mind. Many of Freud's ideas, however, are sex-oriented .
Proust also expounded on the importance of memory-past experiences which may either be good or bad.
In the complex realm of our existence, the truth remains that ugliness and perversion abound which we try to prevent from surfacing in our conscious mind. These however may find their way into consciousness in our unguarded moments.
Proust was a realist and at the same time a symbolist. As such he portrays mental awareness as stream of consciousness. This reduces man's dignity as a human being. Common to Freud and Proust's work is the prevalence or integration of sex into their hierarchy of value. Read More
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