L'impertinence du geste a la lumiere de l'empreinte du Daguerreotype dans le roman de Marcel Proust "A la Recherche du temps perdu"

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Committee Member

David R. Ellison, Committee Chair


The dissertation examines the poetic status of gestic details in the Recherche through the theories of early photography in the mid-19 th century. In this study, I explore how the problematic status of gestures in the novel comes to challenge Proust's early theories of representation.Whereas a generation of critics following the theoretical path opened by Deleuze in Proust et les Signes posit that the meaning of the Recherche lies in the activity of decoding the function of linguistic signs, I demonstrate on the contrary how visual signs in the Recherche undermine a theory of the novel based on a poetics of language. In analyzing Proust's fascination with Daguerreotype techniques, I analyze the transformation of the writing process into a photographic process and discuss how the photographic capture of subversive gestures in the novel brings forth a new theory of Time based on a dynamic representation of the signifying body.


Literature, Modern; Literature, Romance

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