By Martin Hägglund
Marcel Proust, Virginia Woolf, and Vladimir Nabokov remodeled the artwork of the unconventional for you to show the event of time. however, their works were learn as expressions of a wish to go beyond time—whether via an epiphany of reminiscence, an immanent second of being, or a transcendent afterlife. Martin Hägglund takes on those topics yet supplies them one other studying completely. the phobia of time and demise doesn't stem from a wish to go beyond time, he argues. to the contrary, it really is generated by means of the funding in temporal lifestyles. From this vantage aspect, Hägglund deals in-depth analyses of Proust’s Recherche, Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, and Nabokov’s Ada.
via his readings of literary works, Hägglund additionally sheds new gentle on subject matters of vast situation within the humanities, together with time attention and reminiscence, trauma and survival, the know-how of writing and the cultured strength of paintings. ultimately, he develops an unique conception of the relation among time and hope via an engagement with Freud and Lacan, addressing mourning and melancholia, excitement and discomfort, attachment and loss. Dying for Time opens a brand new means of interpreting the dramas of hope as they're staged in either philosophy and literature.
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Extra info for Dying for Time: Proust, Woolf, Nabokov
For Memory: Proust â•› • â•›3 5 example, if I listen to a succession of musical notes, I can only apprehend it as a melody by retaining what has passed away and joining it to what follows. The same goes for the temporal extension of every individual note and indeed for the experience of anything that happens. 16 The question, then, is how the synthesis of succession is possible. When Charles Swann listens to a piece of music in the first volume of the Recherche, the description emphasizes that “his memory at once furnished him with a transcription that was summary and temporary but at which he could glance while the piece continued, so that already, when the same impression suddenly returned, it was no longer impossible to grasp” (1:217/1:206).
If duration were absolutely continuous, it would therefore eliminate the very condition of time, since it would eliminate the difference that distinguishes before from after. This necessary difference is not a positive spatial difference but the negativity of time, which undermines both the idea of a discrete moment and the idea of an absolute continuity. Only if something is no longer—that is, only if there is negativity—can there be a difference between before and after, past and present. This negativity must be at work in presence itself for there to be succession.
25 Landy himself concedes that such a “permanent aspect” is not sufficient to constitute what he calls a “total Selfâ•ƒ” and grants that temporality necessarily intrudes on Marcel’s “communion with the atemporal” (116). 12), the total Self evolves in time and cannot achieve an abiding unity except by reaching “the personal equivalent of the End of History—something Marcel, for one, considers an impossibility” (122). Nevertheless, Landy holds that “for Proust, it is preferable to imagine such a telos and live accordingly than to face the fact of its nonexistence” (125).