ABSTRACT

In his book on Proustian irony, Pierre Schoentjes quotes Alberto Beretta Angui ssola’s reaction upon being asked to describe Proust’s thinking on the aristocracy: ‘Où, à quel moment?’ [Where, at which moment?]. 1 Schoentjes notes that Anguissola’s riposte could be generalized and applied to any question that assumes that A la recherche du temps perdu [In Search of Lost Time] offers a clear and definitive view on any particular subject. Every reader will indeed have to face the bewildering complexity of the novel, first at the level of the infinitely sophisticated sentences and endless chains of association and detours, and even more when one seeks to derive from the text an embracing vision or attitude to the world.