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The Years of Hating Proust

The Years of Hating Proust CLJ604-03matz.indd 355 ComParatIVE LItEratUrE / 356 the passage is from Time and Western Man, that thick collection of polemical essays in which Lewis railed against the “time-books” and “time-cult” of Joyce and Proust, the modernist epics of excessive psychologizing, where a fanaticism of chronology had reached excruciating proportions (81, xix). Lewis connects Joyce and Proust with the Bergsonian theory of durée, which he translates as “psychological time” and deems “shallow” and “doctrinaire” (81–84). Gleefully Lewis positions himself against such writers. according to his calculus, the antidote to their “exasperated time-sense”— the necessary retort to marcel’s time-looping consciousness or Leopold Bloom’s day of compressed and archetypal thinking — could only be the mode of writing that Lewis himself was now practicing: satire.1 Beginning in the 1920s, about ten years into his career as a writer, Lewis decided that only satirical rigor could lead fiction out of the morass of obsessive temporality and introspection that in his estimation had come to dominate it. In the introduction to Men Without Art (1934), he announces: “this book has been written, in short, to defend Satire” (13), and he goes on optimistically to declare that “we are probably on the threshold, according to http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Literature Duke University Press

The Years of Hating Proust

Comparative Literature , Volume 60 (4) – Jan 1, 2008

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2008 by University of Oregon
ISSN
0010-4124
eISSN
1945-8517
DOI
10.1215/-60-4-355
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

CLJ604-03matz.indd 355 ComParatIVE LItEratUrE / 356 the passage is from Time and Western Man, that thick collection of polemical essays in which Lewis railed against the “time-books” and “time-cult” of Joyce and Proust, the modernist epics of excessive psychologizing, where a fanaticism of chronology had reached excruciating proportions (81, xix). Lewis connects Joyce and Proust with the Bergsonian theory of durée, which he translates as “psychological time” and deems “shallow” and “doctrinaire” (81–84). Gleefully Lewis positions himself against such writers. according to his calculus, the antidote to their “exasperated time-sense”— the necessary retort to marcel’s time-looping consciousness or Leopold Bloom’s day of compressed and archetypal thinking — could only be the mode of writing that Lewis himself was now practicing: satire.1 Beginning in the 1920s, about ten years into his career as a writer, Lewis decided that only satirical rigor could lead fiction out of the morass of obsessive temporality and introspection that in his estimation had come to dominate it. In the introduction to Men Without Art (1934), he announces: “this book has been written, in short, to defend Satire” (13), and he goes on optimistically to declare that “we are probably on the threshold, according to

Journal

Comparative LiteratureDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2008

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