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The Banal Object: Theme and Thematics in Proust, Rilke Hofmannsthal and Sartre

The Banal Object: Theme and Thematics in Proust, Rilke Hofmannsthal and Sartre

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Description

Edited by Naomi Segal. Published 1981. ISBN: 9780854570997.

http://events.sas.ac.uk/support-research/publications/123

 

Detailed Description

The 'banal object' is one whose very insignificance appears to hint at a hidden meaning. In the texts Dr Segal examines here, the narrators have crucial encounters with such objects: these scenes first dramatize, and later tentatively resolve, a personal and literary crisis. Close analysis reveals many themes of radical self-questioning, expressed in a language whose thematics - or, fundamental imagery - reproduces the opposition of self and world seen in the relationship between narrator and object, and displays a similar ambivalence of fear and desire. The texts are also placed in a literary-historical context: their special use of objects arises from the conflict between Symbolism and Naturalism, and exemplifies a turning-point in modern European writing.