Offers a psychocritical reading of Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu (Remembrance of Things Past).
The Gardens of Desire is at once a model of literary interpretation and a groundbreaking psychocritical reading of a literary masterpiece, Marcel Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu (Remembrance of Things Past). Shedding new light on the origins of the creative impulse in general, and on the psychological origins of the Recherche in particular, the book illuminates the hidden associations between matricidal, suicidal, sadistic, masochistic, homoerotic, and creative impulses as manifested in Proust’s work. The book moves beyond traditional Freudian readings of Proust to consider the theories of Otto Rank, Jacques Derrida, and others, and provides provocative readings of the “privileged moments” that comprise many of the work’s “critical cruxes,” as well as a thought-provoking rereading of the novel’s ending. Both elegant and accessible, this book boldly explores the violence of desire as it relates not only to Proust’s narrator, but also to Proustian criticism itself, with its own violent desire to appropriate the essence of Proust’s masterpiece.