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© Patrick O'Donovan 1986–2019

'Proust's 'grands chagrins utiles': beyond contingency?'

This essay deals with a phase of the Recherche where the Narrator broaches what we might take to be the work’s conclusion, specifically the issue of how the pain of experience can be transmuted into something of value, or the redemption of contingencies. It offers a dual perspective on this issue, encompassing an account of representation that draws on Smith, Constant and Goethe, on the one hand, and a view of art as a kind of contenant (following André Green), on the other.

Nigel Harkness and Marion Schmid, eds, Au seuil de la modernité: Proust, literature and the Arts (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2011), pp. 179–94
  Accepted manuscript: institutional repository