Reading Proust in Barthes's Journal de deuil
Nottingham French Studies
Edinburgh University Press
This article contributes to ongoing critical reflection on the place of Marcel Proust's writings in the œuvre of Roland Barthes, through a reading of Barthes's Journal de deuil. I explore the explicit references made to Proust as well as the more indirect or involuntary traces of À la recherche that surface in the notes that make up the Journal. These are read comparatively with references made to Proust, mourning, memory and writing that figure in Barthes's contemporary works, notably the lecture ‘“Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure”’, Fragments d'un discours amoureux and La Chambre claire. I argue that Proust's place in the Journal de deuil, Barthes's most intimate of texts, is almost inevitable since, by Barthes's own avowal, Proust's writings were – like Barthes's mother up until that point – a constant in his life, a point of departure and return.
© University of Nottingham. Accepted Manuscript deposited in accordance with SHERPA RoMEO guidelines. The definitive version is available at http://www.euppublishing.com/doi/abs/10.3366/nfs.2014.0076.
Vol. 53, Issue 1, pp. 102 - 112