Proust and America

BookOpen AccessProust and America

Proust and America

The Influence of American Art, Culture, and Literature on A la recherché du temps perdu


December 1st, 2007


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“It is strange,” Proust wrote in 1909, “that, in the most widely different departments . . . there should be no other literature which exercises over me so powerful an influence as English and American.” In the spirit of Proust’s admission, this engaging and critical volume offers the first comparative reading of the French novelist in the context of American art, literature, and culture. In addition to examining Proust’s key American influences—Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edgar Allen Poe, and James McNeill Whistler—Proust and America investigates the previously overlooked influence of the American neurologist George Beard, whose writings on neurasthenia and “American nervousness” contributed to the essential modernity of the author’s work. An Open Access edition of this work is available on the OAPEN Library.

Author Information

Michael Murphy was senior lecturer in English at Nottingham Trent University, the author of several academic books and collections of poetry and coeditor of 'Liverpool Writing: Essays and Interviews'.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title Page3
List of Plates6
Notes on References and Abbreviations9
Introduction: The Spirit of Liberty13
1: Le Côté de Nev’York, or Marcel in America28
2: The Impossible Possible Philosophers’ Man76
3: A Bout de Souffle124
4: Exquisite Corpses/Buried Texts160
5: Proust’s Butterfly207