LES CARAFES DANS LA VIVONNE : L'EMPLOI INTERTEXTUEL DES GENRES LITTÉRAIRES FIN-DE-SIÈCLE DANS A LA RECHERCHE DU TEMPS PERDU
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This study examines the use of fin-de-siècle literary genres in A la recherche du temps perdu with four questions in mind: where, how, and to what degree do the literary genres associated with symbolism and decadence appear? What is their relationship to earlier Proustian texts? What role do they play in the overall construction of the novel? What is their relationship to earlier literary genres present in the work? In answering these questions, I argue that the complex layers and fragments that the fin-de-siècle genres represent are essential to the very existence of the novel. The reading that emerges shows how Proust's intertextual echoes, references, quotes, and allusions work within its primary subject, the literary vocation of the narrator, in whose voice many of the references are made. Intertextuality becomes, in this view, the literary foundation of the work. Along the way, I uncover a fundamental element of Proust's writing process, showing how his work on seemingly disparate fragments from his reading and writing past led to the creation of a single, integrated work. We see how the self-referential intertextuality so particular to La recherche foreshadows the discoveries literary theory would make throughout the second half of the 20th century. I begin with a discussion of Proust's view of the literary world of the period 1873-1913, especially symbolism and decadence. I then establish a typology of genres typical of this period and present the specific intertextual relations between this literature and La recherche. I go on to analyze in detail the role of fin-de-siècle theater , especially symbolist drama, in the work. A second in-depth analysis uncovers the genesis and function of Proust's use of the prose poem. Finally, I take a close look at the mythological elements in the novel -- proposing a new interpretation of the title Within a Budding Grove, -- analyzing their roots and raising Proustian points of departure from symbolist and decadent aesthetics. In truth, the use of fin-de-siècle literary genres must be seen as a point of departure writ large, as it gave rise to a new genre, that of the Proustian novel itself.