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La machine à refaire la vie? Marcel Proust’s 'A la recherche du temps perdu' and Jean-Luc Godard’s 'Histoire(s) du Cinéma'

Heywood, M.; (2010) La machine à refaire la vie? Marcel Proust’s 'A la recherche du temps perdu' and Jean-Luc Godard’s 'Histoire(s) du Cinéma'. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

My thesis examines the relationship between Godard’s Histoire(s) du cinéma and Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu in light of the philosophy and history of film and its interaction with literary and new media theories. In developing a correlation between the processes of visuality and time, which recalls Deleuze’s theorisation of the cinematic ‘timeimage’, I compose a critical approach that casts montage as a conceptual link between the aesthetics of A la recherche and Histoire(s) du cinéma. Building on Genette’s thesis regarding the co-existence of metaphor and metonymy in A la recherche, my project introduces montage in order to demonstrate how the nature of the image in both artworks corresponds to a shared aesthetic based on the imagined projection of images, which problematises oppositions between word and image, literature and video. My analysis of literary and videographic intertextuality brings into view an aesthetic based on the relationship between montage and the anagram, thus providing a new inter-formal perspective from which to consider the intertextual networks created by Proust and Godard. In a chapter devoted to sound, I engage with a synaesthetic approach developed by film scholarship, in order to examine how the auditory realm of A la recherche might be comparable to that of Godard’s use of sound in Histoire(s) du cinéma despite the ‘silence’ of one and the ‘noise’ of the other. My analysis of the depiction of ambiguous ‘subjectivities’ in the two works draws out the complex negotiation between the individual’s perspective(s) and the collective appropriation of those perspectives. The formal embodiment of these subjective ambiguities leads me to conclude that both works attest to the futility of the search both for a stable self and for artistic transcendence.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:La machine à refaire la vie? Marcel Proust’s 'A la recherche du temps perdu' and Jean-Luc Godard’s 'Histoire(s) du Cinéma'
Language:English
Additional information:Permission for digitisation not received
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of EU Langs, Culture and Society > French

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