Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu is popularly regarded as the literary treatment of memory: the very title of the book proclaims the centrality of the theme, and its English translation Remembrance of Things Past underlines it even more emphatically. Yet the fame of this novel has little to do with originality: far more subtle literary investigations of memory had been conducted for two centuries before Proust. Belonging to a tradition of memory-writing that emphasizes the inner workings of the faculty instead of its externalizing cognitive function (which had preoccupied writers on rhetoric from antiquity to the Renaissance), A la recherche has its place in a culture of subjectivity that has dominated Western literature since the Enlightenment.