Document Type


Publication Date



This thesis examines the interrelationship between suffering and art in the context of À la recherché du temps perdu by Marcel Proust. I first trace a lineage of suffering and art, conduct a literature review of relevant criticism on Proust's work and on suffering and art, and finally explicate volumes one and five of Proust's magnum opus. I interpret the scene of the goodnight-kiss to be the genesis of Marcel’s search and his path to artistry. In this scene, Marcel profanes his mother qua maternal and artistic ideal, and subsequently sublimates Mme de Guermantes and Albertine in an attempt to replace what he lost. The results of my scholarship delineate that suffering simultaneously problematizes the narrator's artistic status and necessitates a search to replace the ideal he lost: his mother. I situate my interpretation from psychoanalytical, semiotic, and post-modern perspectives.


À la recherche du temps perdu; Albertine; Art; Criticism; Guermantes; Interpretation; Proust; Marcel; 1871-1922; Suffering; Suffering in literature


Comparative Literature | French and Francophone Literature

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

Buyachek Reflection Essay.docx (15 kB)
Reflection Essay