Proust, fuir l’oralité pour trouver un accent
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Proust has always asserted that salon conversation is incompatible with the noiseless shrine where a writer devotes himself to literature. Nonetheless, the more Proust confines himself in his cork-lined room to escape the transient voices of the world, the more ‘orality’ emerges from his writing as the
equivalent not of ‘voice’, but rather of ‘accent’. In this paper I investigate this paradox by examining the episode concerning Bergotte’s voice, which seems so eccentric to the narrator.