Readers of Proust are aware of the special place that metaphor has in his work, both as his passport to immorality and as an instrument for discovery. Countless books and articles have been written on his stylistic use of metaphor, but very few have described its role in the text's organization.
Luz Aurora Pimentel begins with the proposition that metaphor should operate beyond -- or below -- the observable verbal texture of a narrative. Such an abstract level of functioning in the process of metaphorization considerably affects narrative structure as a whole and generates a sort of paranarrative, or virtual subsidiary narrative line, that must be constructed by the reader. To examine this abstract potential Pimental uses both theory and criticism.
She divides the book into two major sections; the first examines the role of metaphor in narrative discourse in order to establish a theory of metaphoric narration; the second applies this theory to Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu. The author demonstrates a thorough knowledge of modern literary theories of metaphor, including those of Genette, Greimas, Ricoeur, Ricardou, and Riffaterre, while fashioning her own original view of the role of metaphoric narration. Her book can be read with profit not only by those interested in Proust but also by those concerned with literary theory and metaphoric narration in general.