Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis


Department of Romance Languages and Linguistics

Thesis Type

College of Arts and Science Honors, Honors College

First Advisor

Joseph Acquisto

Second Advisor

Jacques Bailly

Third Advisor

Gretchen Van Slyke


proust, metaphor, language, thought, impressions, memory


Marcel Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu culminates in the realization of hero Marcel that he must become a writer. At the soirée chez les Geurmantes, he decides that as an author his ultimate task is the translation and composition of something he calls the inner book of impressions. This realization brings up several questions. Primarily, what are these impressions, and how do they come about? Moreover, as Marcel embarks on the job not merely of the scribe of these impressions but also the translator, we must ask what language these impressions were in when first impressed that they now must be translated, or in other words, what is the language of thought according to Proust and, by extension, Marcel? This paper seeks to answer these questions, concluding with a discussion about how Proust may in fact be providing evidence against the solipsist argument that individual realities are the only knowable realities, proving on the contrary that through successful translation of the inner book of impressions, individual realities are indeed communicable.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.