Chapter

Frames, Language, Judgements

Edward J. Hughes

in Proust, Class, and Nation

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199609864
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731761 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199609864.003.0006
Frames, Language, Judgements

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Many of the descriptions of social-class stand-offs in A la recherche may be situated within a logic of spatial and symbolic containment. This chapter explores ways in which, at punctual moments in the text, subaltern, bourgeois, and aristocratic figures are often consciously framed as objects of the Narrator’s gaze and as emblems of class identity. Marcel’s own position as a consumer and cultural producer does not escape the Narrator’s scrutiny. In particular, his visual curiosity in relation to working-class youth often focuses on those bodily features associated with the manual work that separates them off from their bourgeois counterparts. Gender, sexuality, and class thus come to be tightly imbricated. Speech, too, is identified by the Narrator as providing linguistic markers of class-belonging: these and other criteria allow for further investigation of the ramifications of class inscription in the novel.

Keywords: class markers; visualization of difference; gender; linguistic markers; proletarian bodies

Chapter.  20812 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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