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Litteratur och erfarenhet i Merleau-Pontys läsning av Proust, Valéry och Stendhal
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Philosophy. Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Baltic & East European Graduate School (BEEGS). Uppsala universitet.
2017 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Literature and experience in Merleau-Ponty's reading of Proust, Valéry and Stendhal (English)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to explore the relation between literary expression and experience in Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy. The principal focus is Merleau-Ponty’s investigations into literature, in two of his first courses at Collège de France, 1953- 1954: Sur le problème de la parole (On the Problem of Speech) and Recherches sur l’usage littéraire du langage (Research on the Literary Use of Language). While the former remains unpublished, the latter was finally published in 2013. At the time of his premature death, Merleau-Ponty left thousands of pages of working notes. They were supposed to contribute to a major philosophical work, the planned title of which was Être et monde (Being and world). Merleau-Ponty had planned to undertake an extensive examination of language in the last part of the work. However, in the absence of this text, the courses on literary language afford us the possibility of sketching the direction that this research might have taken.

The examination of literary language use is, for Merleau-Ponty, made possible by an understanding of language found in Ferdinand de Saussure’s linguistics. Merleau-Ponty’s interpretation of Saussurean linguistics anticipates the structuralist reading that was later to dominate the intellectual scene. Instead of reading the linguistics of Saussure in opposition to phenomenology, he finds in the former an ally that allows him to think Husserlian phenomenology further.

In the course notes, Merleau-Ponty explores the relation between sensible experience and linguistic expressions through close readings of Proust, Valéry and Stendhal. In the writing of Marcel Proust, he finds a writer that perpetually examines his experience, searching for expressions that are capable of bringing it forth. In Stendhal’s writing, Merleau-Ponty finds a literary method that makes the world appear through the “small true facts” that describe it. Finally, in Paul Valéry’s poetic writing he finds a writer superimposing words over other words, in order to create new significations. In their literary writing he finds a capacity to seize the world anew, beyond our habitual preconceptions of it, thus bringing us closer to the experience we already perceive.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Uppsala University, 2017. , 201 p.
Series
Södertörn Doctoral Dissertations, ISSN 1652-7399 ; 143
Keyword [en]
Merleau-Ponty, philosophy, phenomenology, literature, Proust, Valéry, Stendhal, Husserl, Saussure, Sartre, Descartes, philosophy and literature, phenomenology and literature
Keyword [sv]
Merleau-Ponty, filosofi, fenomenologi, litteratur, Proust, Valéry, Stendhal, Husserl, Saussure, Sartre, Descartes, fenomenologi och litteratur, filosofi och litteratur
National Category
Philosophy, Ethics and Religion
Research subject
Critical and Cultural Theory
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-33395ISBN: 978-91-506-2649-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-33395DiVA: diva2:1141511
Public defence
2017-10-06, Sal MA624, Alfred Nobels allé 7, Huddinge, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-09-13 Created: 2017-09-15 Last updated: 2017-09-15Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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