An Unprecedented Deformation: Marcel Proust and the Sensible by Mauro Carbone

By Mauro Carbone

French novelist Marcel Proust made well-known "involuntary memory," a weird form of reminiscence that works even if one is prepared or no longer and that provides a reworked recollection of earlier adventure.

More than a century later, the Proustian idea of involuntary reminiscence has now not been absolutely explored nor its implications understood. via offering clarifying examples taken from Proust's novel and by means of commenting on them utilizing the paintings of French philosophers Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Gilles Deleuze, Italian thinker Mauro Carbone translates involuntary reminiscence because the human school supplying the involuntary production of our rules throughout the transformation of prior adventure.

This rethinking of the normal approach of conceiving rules and their genesis as separated from good experience-as has been performed in Western idea due to the fact Plato-allows the writer to advertise a brand new idea of information, one that is healthier exemplified through literature and artwork even more than philosophy.

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44 In the characterization of the sensible idea, form appears to be thought as the un-presentable, which only its deformations can present indirectly: for this reason, as I have already suggested, it is neither given originally, nor successively, but simultaneously with its deformations, which constitute it as their excess. The essay by Deleuze to which I have referred previously also seems to be oriented toward this approach. Differently from Cassirer (and from Heidegger), we indeed saw Deleuze developing his own confrontation with thinking the essence (the “idea,” the “form”), by focusing not on the tension between εἶδος and εἴδωλον, but rather on that which opposes εἰκών and φάντασμα—and in this sense offering elements of reflection that are not reducible to a simple inversion of the “old structural order” between “sensible” and “non-sensible”—on the basis of a conviction that “‘to reverse Platonism’ means to make the simulacra rise and to affirm their rights among icons and copies” (LS, 302/262).

18 It is precisely in such a working note that Merleau-Ponty remarks that the past evoked by Proust—which was defined slightly earlier as “architectonic”— “belongs to a mythical time, to the time before time, to a prior life, ‘farther than India and China’” (VI, 296/243). Elsewhere Merleau-Ponty indicates that we are dealing with a time in which “ . . synchronics . . encroaches upon succession and diachronics” (S, 154/122–123): a time that flashes or shines in the simultaneity to which the ontology implicit in contemporary thought (and Proust’s work itself)19 attempts to give expression.

It is precisely in a time thus characterized, rather than in a Platonistic eternity, that Merleau-Ponty sees the life of the sensible ideas described by Proust, ideas which he in fact qualifies as “the eternal in the ephemeral” and immediately after defines as the “ciphers of the singular” (NC, 196). Even if ephemeral, our first encounter with these ideas’ samples is such that—Proust explains—“so long as we are alive, we can no more bring ourselves to a state in which we shall not have known” those ideas, since for their part they have “espoused our mortal state” (R 1, 344/381).

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