Australian Journal of French Studies

Distance et proximité de la création: la grand-mère comme figure de la vocation dans À la recherche du temps perdu

Australian Journal of French Studies (2016), 53, (1-2), 149–163.


The term scripturire, coined by Barthes to refer to the “desire to write”, is best exemplified, according to him, in À la recherche du temps perdu. He bases this “desire to write” on a figure, the grandmother, who, through example and her role as “mother of the text”, pushes the narrator to accomplish the action and the result required to satisfy the scripturire. In other words, the accomplishment of writing can take place only through the grandmother’s mediation but at the same time through her narrated disappearance. Revealing her role as transmitter of beliefs in the power of narration, and exposing the function of two dreams which bring to life the posture of this figure, this article examines the “troubling strangeness” resulting from distance and proximity, and which is introduced by these dreams in order to bring about a symbolic transfer of power from the grandmother, as poetic muse, to the grandson.

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Author details

Grauby, Françoise