Proust on the sinking-in of departure and death Associate Professor Rick Anthony Furtak, Colorado College
Grief Project Lecture
In Proust's novel, when the narrator's grandmother speaks of perhaps going on a voyage, being away for a long time, he cannot even bear the thought. When she actually dies, his intellectual knowledge of this fact antedates the moment, a year after her funeral, when he first realizes emotionally what it means that she is dead. In the case of his girlfriend Albertine, her ostensibly irrevocable departure predates by only a short time her demise: this offers us an opportunity to observe the narrator's affective reactions to her loss by virtue of having left him, then by disappearing forever. In each case, the dynamics of grief are analyzed by Proust in the most intimate detail, as Rick demonstrates.
About the speaker
Rick Anthony Furtak is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Colorado College. His work is focused on the moral psychology of the emotions, the relations between philosophy and literature, and the unique spirit of existential thought. He is past President of the Søren Kierkegaard Society. His translations from Rainer Maria Rilke and a book of his own poems are among his most recent publications.