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Photography and the ‘Jeu des clefs’: À la recherche du temps perdu in the light of Paul Nadar's portraits

Yacavone, Kathrin

Authors

Kathrin Yacavone Kathrin.Yacavone@nottingham.ac.uk

Abstract

The year 1978 saw the first exhibition of photographic portraits of Marcel Proust's family, friends and acquaintances taken by Paul Nadar, an event leading to renewed interest in the subject of À la recherche du temps perdu as a roman à clef. This article examines two interpretations of Proust's novel in the light of these images, as put forward by William Howard Adams and Roland Barthes. While Adams and Barthes both take George Painter's Proust biography as a starting point for their own readings of the photographs as ‘keys’ to the novel, they offer two contrasting perspectives on À la recherche: Adams emphasizes the transparent and positivistic connection between the author's life and work, whereas Barthes focuses on a more fluid, dialectical and productively ambiguous relation between the two. Both of these perspectives, but particularly Barthes's, it is argued, shed light on the novel's production and the broader, multi-faceted relations between photography, (auto)biography and literature.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Oct 30, 2012
Journal Nottingham French Studies
Print ISSN 0029-4586
Electronic ISSN 2047-7236
Publisher Edinburgh University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 51
Issue 3
Institution Citation Yacavone, K. (2012). Photography and the ‘Jeu des clefs’: À la recherche du temps perdu in the light of Paul Nadar's portraits. Nottingham French Studies, 51(3), doi:10.3366/nfs.2012.0025
DOI https://doi.org/10.3366/nfs.2012.0025
Keywords Roland Barthes, biography, Paul Nadar, George Painter, Marcel Proust, photography, À la recherche du temps perdu, roman à clef
Publisher URL http://www.euppublishing.com/doi/abs/10.3366/nfs.2012.0025
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf
Additional Information This has been accepted for publication by Edinburgh University Press in Nottingham French Studies.

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf




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