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Bychowski, G. Levengood, R. (1973). Marcel Proust as Poet of Psychoanalysis: Excerpts. Am. Imago, 30(1):26-32.

(1973). American Imago, 30(1):26-32

Marcel Proust as Poet of Psychoanalysis: Excerpts

Gustav Bychowski and Robert Levengood, M.D.

It is a unique quality of all the works of Marcel Proust that analyses, which are endlessly precise and at the same time beautiful, are found on almost every page. They arise apparently from a single source, the striving to maintain the eternal values in the change of mental existence and to find the stable, the Platonic ideal, in fluctuating change. With inexhaustible perseverence and patience, he follows love, jealousy, yearning, and the pain of separation of his heroes and continually asks himself whether he comprehends their lives, understands their ideas, or whether he has captured them from the apparitions of flight with the network of his analyses.

The magnitude of his message is apparent in that he is never satisfied, he always probes and searches, he always remembers and molds, he always returns to the same mind. And finally, he pursues not only the same feeling in different men but, also, he ferrets it out in all the corners of the mind, observes it from different points of view and in various situations. No similarity escapes his glance; he does not allow himself to be led astray; through exterior differences, he sees the stream of experience, which flows into the interior …

This illumination of individual minds leads finally to the point that the brightness of the writer's perception includes all that (if one can use the term “all” here), which unnoticed borders the periphery of our consciousness. To each experience, to each half-note, to each modulation, which resonate as harmonics of a fundamental experience, Proust says, as Faust at the moment of bliss: ‘Verweile doch, du bist so schön!’ All becomes clear and beautiful in such brightness.

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