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PHI 97 — In Search of Marcel Proust and His Literary Philosophy

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Mondays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 9 weeks
Date(s): Sep 21—Nov 30
Time: 7:00—9:05 pm (PT)
Drop Deadline: Sep 23
Units: 2
Tuition: $495
Instructor(s): Josef Chytry
Status: Registration opens Aug 17, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: No class on October 5 and November 23. In addition, some of our refund deadlines have changed. See this course's drop deadline above and click here for the full policy.
Fall
Live Online
Mondays
7:00—9:05 pm (PT)
Date(s)
Sep 21—Nov 30
9 weeks
Drop By
Sep 23
2 Units
Fees
$495
Instructor(s):
Josef Chytry
Registration opens Aug 17, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: No class on October 5 and November 23. In addition, some of our refund deadlines have changed. See this course's drop deadline above and click here for the full policy.
Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time (À la recherche du temps perdu) is often regarded as the towering novel of all time, rounding out in the twentieth century the formal and expressive standards of the realist novel genre as refined by nineteenth-century French writers from Stendhal and Balzac to Flaubert and Zola. What is perhaps less often recognized is that Proust’s work is arguably one of the major philosophical ventures of modernity. Besides capturing themes of individual identity, class, gender, religion, and aesthetics, it provides a unique reading of “lived” as well as “objective” time in their relation to the phenomenon of individual enlightenment. This course offers a unique opportunity to survey the entire work in English translation. Each week students will read fifty to one hundred pages of the novel, and then in class we will discuss its ramifications from a range of philosophical and cultural perspectives. We will consider the purposes and nature of Proust’s project, the role of the novel form in French intellectual life for articulating the nature of reality, the links between Proust’s work and major transformations in French fin-de-siècle society (from 1890 to the outbreak of World War I), and the meaning of memory and time in Proust’s account of the quest for enlightenment.

Josef Chytry, Senior Adjunct Professor, Critical Studies Program, California College of the Arts; Managing Editor, ICC Journal, UC Berkeley

Josef Chytry is the author of Mountain of Paradise: Reflections on the Emergence of Greater California as a World Civilization and The Aesthetic State: A Quest in Modern German Thought. He received a DPhil in politics and the history of ideas from the University of Oxford. Chytry’s newest book is Cosmotheism: Cytherean Sitings Between Heraclitus and Kittler.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Proust, Remembrance of Things Past: Volume I - Swann's Way & Within a Budding Grove (ISBN 0394711823)
(Required) Proust, Remembrance of Things Past: Volume 2 - The Guermantes Way & Cities of the Plain (ISBN 0394711831)
(Required) Proust, Remembrance of Things Past, Volume 3 - The Captive, The Fugitive & Time Regained (ISBN 039471184X)
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)