Proust between print culture and visual art: Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's "Works in Fiber, Paper and Proust"
Fudan Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences
Reason for embargo
Temporary embargo required due to publisher policy.
Marcel Proust is an author of global significance and renown. Translations into Chinese and Korean of A la recherche du temps perdu are ongoing. The Gallica online library of France’s Bibliothèque nationale makes the notebooks from which Proust’s novel emerged between 1908 and 1922 digitally accessible anywhere in the world. It is well known that Proust has been adapted to graphic novel format, individual volumes of his novel have been adapted for cinema, inspired ballet and musical theatre and his characters’ lives have fuelled works of fiction by contemporary creative writers. This paper considers a very recent instance of Proust’s reception and adaptation: “Works in Fiber, Paper and Proust” created by the critic and theorist Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (1950–2009) and first exhibited at Harvard University in 2005. These remarkable objects—including what Sedgwick calls an “accordion-book” and a “loom-book”—give a woven, layered physicality to Proust’s words and remobilise them in ways that force us to reconfigure our understanding of the text–reader relation. Sedgwick’s visual, textile artworks are the products of creative, adaptive practices undertaken as a sort of therapy that was instrumental in her coming to terms with the terminal cancer diagnosis she received in 1996. My paper explores Sedgwick’s adaptive practice and interrogates the insights their challenging hybridity offers us into the ongoing transmission of Proust’s work.
Author's accepted manuscript deposited in accordance with SHERPA RoMEO guidelines. The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40647-015-0071-1.