Spatial Form in Modern Literature: An Essay in Two Parts Author(s): Joseph Frank Source: The Sewanee Review, Vol

. 53, No. 2 (Spring, 1945), pp. 221-240 Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27537575 . Accessed: 05/09/2013 14:32
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SPATIAL

FORM

IN MODERN

LITERATURE
AN ESSAY IN TWO PARTS

By

JOSEPH Part

FRANK I
is one of remarked, or contradict every thirty of these atti neither advice, once writers.1 the plastic reference

IESSING'S those ^ tudes years. toward

Andr? Gide Laokoony books it is good to reiterate this excellent Despite Lao ko on has been to define

attempt Lessing's a dead arts has become is occasionally on influence came about made, esthetic

by modern adopted and the limits of literature to which

issue?one but which

thinking. in the nineteenth it is not so easy

respectful longer has any fecundating can understand this how One no its passion at present, for his when so

but toricism, many writers form. effort have To

century, with to understand

are occupied with on esthetic problems of questions or the plastic a historian of literature arts, Lessing's the unalterable ; but modern laws of these mediums no may overawed well by the

to define seemed

the bugbear problems he

quixotic of historical tried

method, to solve.

critics, have begun

longer to take up again

to these problems own solution seems, Lessing's to modern esthetic to have little relation thinking. of Laokoon the arguments school against which the school modern based whose of pictorial poetry, has since ceased ; and many

at first glance, The literary were directed, to interest the

sensibility on the plastic

discoveries, But second-hand. history,

arts, grew to make matters it was

long when of its conclusions, particularly out of a now-antiquated archeology worse, his Lessing

above

to define

precisely the unalterable

quixotic laws of esthetic

at knew mainly to rise attempt perception 4

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in his the emphasizes to esthetic essay Locke time. pleasure this method of deal and critical ally. their the of first-hand with the artworks acquaintanceship to it is consider them apart from antiquity. had taken filtered hold his first-hand supposedly into France through At famous knowledge on classical based Italian same which authority. see how these was from method shifted of soon philosophy had given a new impulse complex the the problem of into simple elements to of the mind operations solve ideas to form ideas. and Lessing esthetic problems ing with same the was a close student in others and many of these works as a result. concerned them himself in Germany. both In Laokoony Lessing of great importance researches archeological stimulated a passionate went Lessing thought. 5 Sep 2013 14:32:35 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .9 on Thu.27. tried to pirical school of English speculation.197. Shaftesbury. The time. his contemporary. Andr? not his on depend time. using tragedians.2 by breaking knowledge and then of sensation. and Burke. history had of Winckelmann. Hogarth. Mendelssohn. always possible use them in the analysis these circumstances and of later develop fuses two distinct currents of relationship extent of his freshness perennial the validity of his theories to the literary movements particular to which does of school. a few. popularized with perception. Aristotle and the Greek to attack the distorted mans. general currents: Lessing these intellectual analyzes at the the confluence of laws of esthetic This content downloaded from 128.222 rather SPATIAL than to FORM attack the or IN MODERN defend any LITERATURE which Gide his work gives Since alluded. critical theories. the Ger in Greek interest culture among in the cultural of his back to Homer. on Lessing. stands Laokoon} spirit. of to an This interest analysis : the focus beauty down examining were sensations taken over combined external by estheticians for prescriptions Writers to mention like esthetic Hutcheson selves only character and combination of impressions the precise to the friend esthetic that gave Lessing's sensibility. or on ments. commentators and then as Wilhelm Locke and Dilthey the em in Germany.

27. "If suitable relation to then it is clear that symbolized. must in the fundamental differ laws governing their therefore "that painting it is true. Lessing argued. a in time?if these symbols culated sounds require indisputably creation. consecu while thing the painters. poet painter paint to fail because their doomed story in visible images: both were with the fundamental of in contradiction aims were properties their mediums. objects is neces can best be the of in an instant presented juxtaposed use of language. literature writers shows and how they arts. can only in juxtaposition of express subjects or parts exist in juxtaposition. the visible because according aspect of of time. sequence. in the plastic arts. laws. working different through mediums. of critical analysis. literary must Lessing be based used on some to attack of narrative genres two artistic his day: and allegorical poetry pictorial to tell a to the allegorical with tried words. or symbols in their imitations make use of entirely different means in the ?the form and of arti of color second space. namely. especially masterpieces arranged symbols the wholes which tive can only express or the wholes of which subjects symbols did not originate consecutive.9 on Thu." Lessing and poetry wrote. as an instrument is the first to use it systematically. sarily Form spatial. other hand.JOSEPH FRANK 223 limitations how Greek by to perception. to Lessing.197. the plastic necessary prescribe and then demonstrates Homer." this parts are themselves Lessing has a long and complicated which but he formulation. history. of a succession that its medium. how skillfully This content downloaded from 128. proceeding to harmonize primarily this argument through with time. pictorial be. the essential form composed and it follows quality of on Literature. created and these obeying starts from the simple observation that literature His argument sensuous and the plastic arts. 5 Sep 2013 14:32:35 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . no matter of a visible object. scription impression might No matter how accurate and vivid not give a verbal de it could the unified figures in highly popular The painting. first. makes words form.

9 on Thu. he attempts that develops sense of esthetic propriety. of in the importance to use Lessing's to proceeding they adhered judge to the norms as instruments solely the value of individual he laid down. to follow distinction it is not necessary the ramifications Lessing's nor even to agree with his on of his argument. thinking in doing . Classical the from Renaissance external century purely was known to have what of it?was literature?or presumed reached imitate deduced perfection. set forth Lessing the Greeks. the real meaning what Lessing offered was form. was ary work but the dictated of superficial to serious barbarian and mechanical esthetic however. but position that. nothing a Such led a commentators rules from the classical the Aristotelian and modern wished came of which unities. the limits of human to prove his argument. to form an external mold into which had technical to be poured: arrangement notion the form Gradually. and Pope This content downloaded from 128.27. as a matter For be understood. ception of esthetic The of Lao ko on cannot not a new is done. works by how closely And unless this of fact.197. but a new con set of opinions. or successfully arranged. Various critics have quarreled with another in some was of these judgments. with an unfailing respected on different art mediums imposed by the conditions to understand But the importance of perception. so. without analysis. they were such a belief based history insights way undermining Lessing's on a misunderstanding of Laokoonys It is quite possible of esthetic theory. form of esthetic inherited conception by the eighteenth was a one. 5 Sep 2013 14:32:35 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . were warned writers masterpieces?rules Aristotle had never to obey these rules to a cultivated to appeal public. the material of by a work the form. certain and A later writers horde of could do little and better critics than had like heard? if they these rules of a liter was rules. considered of taste?Shakespeare perversions a writer even by so sophisticated as Voltaire. its example.224 might could As SPATIAL be not chosen FORM and IN MODERN a painting the various LITERATURE piece of sculpture stages of an action. specific judgments one or individual writers.

by exemplified as and Ezra Proust T. into which but itself. Time and of the art work were two extremes the the limits of literature and space defining issued as the plastic arts in their relation to sensuous example. have this ex specula arrangement provided by the sensuous lation between conditions of human form is not an external seen.JOSEPH found it necessary FRANK deal 225 of Lessing's editing. So far reaches tendency book Nightwoody it deserves. Djuna received Barnes's remarkable attention to apprehend their work spati rather than as a sequence. longer from mere externals the artist. more particularly. The its culmination which third has section never will in the critical deal with Nightwood in detail.9 on Thu. Just was not to be bound them its own traditional with his own political nature. the practice Criti of the past. trace the evolution it is of following possible.197. Eliot. breaking sharply with out the road for esthetic of form. marks future. analyzing its form and explaining This content downloaded from 128. that modern tions will try to show literature. was technique?it to force had willy-nilly. of rather from the organization spontaneously it presented itself to perception. but was to create so art was to them not create perception. 5 Sep 2013 14:32:35 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . than in accordance forms out accepting cism was ready-made to prescribe laws by which necessary with form confused esthetic not a strait jacket his creative ideas.as we to do a good in translating Homer point of view. art forms by their these two poles. S. in a moment ally. to explore the rules for art.27.8 to the is method of The essay purpose present apply Lessing's trace the evolution to modern of form in modern literature?to Lessing's oscillations in the novel. ternal conception in the tion to follow For Lessing. in the direction of spatial This is moving form. James means that 'the reader is intended of time. The first two sec poetry and. between to and perception. esthetic a set of traditional it is the re rules: nature of the art medium man and of the the as the natural by of century eighteenth forms. Joyce. but was was art governs No itself. as the novel this is concerned. Marcel such writers Pound.

farrago a series of boyishly thrown in among esthetic perceptions naughty to le it is whose chief would seem. sense that "that of sudden of such complexes liberation. for Imagism important one knew quite poetry written poets?no by Imagist an Imagist rather the way it because was?but poet opened Vic later developments sentimental by its clean break with The the leading of Ezra Pound. which est works of art. literary an intellectual implications not as a importance image" Pound emotional "is that which wrote. proceed but is rather to strike the reader's of language. that only the instantaneous presentation ing.9 on Thu. in an instant of time. presents an instant of time. that have since in the be made changes sensibility to outline of 1 led to the predominance spatial Modern from the Anglo-American Imagist movement the first World following any actual what for received its initial poetry impetus of the years directly and preceding was not War.226 SPATIAL FORM IN MODERN LITERATURE in esthetic of a in always cultural particular the spiritual attitudes form form. in a later passage. in the presence that sense of of the great a experience poetic modern outset. to the way in direct contradiction championed in which Les This content downloaded from 128. poetry therefore. its meaning.197." At the very method space limits. Finally. critical writings are an astonishing of keen Imagism. gives an instantaneous sense of freedom from time we limits and sudden growth. definition stuffed startle bourgeois?to torian verbiage. of modern is of funda form. theoretician of of the mental "An and image." The in complex should be noted?an of his definition pictorial emotions Such laws with image but as unification of disparate ideas and reproduction. perhaps for the keenest any discussion of his perceptions. 5 Sep 2013 14:32:35 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . sensibility is defined stresses this aspect by add Pound impact. purpose. into a complex spatially presented to the a complex to not is according discursively. volve changes major an effort will period.27. ?pater the But Pound's shirts. remarks.

Perhaps ordinarily the the more true of Eliot Eliot of than of Pound. our has influenced conception the distinctive For Eliot. "falls man. Such numerous cluded of the nature How problems. 5 Sep 2013 14:32:35 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Eliot's well-known we can see modern of a quality to fuse seem The and ordinary these two to do with or with have nothing each other. capacity poetic sensibility into an organic unity. of frustrating expectation to a sequence the elements of the poem and forcing him perceive rather than in in time.27. how image with of the poetic By perceived." "Gerontion" and "Portrait daring like the revolutionary of metrical loosening work.JOSEPH said had sing language Pound's of the definition tion of the psychology this profoundly must FRANK be 227 comparing descrip clearly idea process. is precisely what Eliot works.197. to is its form new wholes. origin. complex a most in would sequence up clearly images destroy linking one was vast the Or itself whose of their efficacy." always experiences forming While esthetic Pound had attempted to define the image in terms of its attributes. conventional and Both in their and Pound earlier attempted still retained were of in their some looked technical structure. of poets. in a poem but the result of poetry more is describing was likely its psy to be the chological same.9 on Thu. individual then ness was rise to gave immediately than one image to be in as a unity? But were to be apprehended components to undermine the inherent be necessary consecutive it would the reader's normal of language. of the nature of poetry. especially pattern complex early works like "Prufrock. or reads Spinoza. in the mind noise of the typewriter of are new the poet these wholes. Eliot. the experiences or the smell of cooking. Their poems because chiefly and This content downloaded from 128. experiences ingly disparate in love. of an image was its capacity in a poem? If the chief value an intellectual to present and emotional simultaneously. as the handling this is less considered of subjects non-poetic. poem image. space unrolling juxtaposed This major elements upon matters. a view in this passage. Eliot writes.

with disillusioned. accompanying destination: and . . form. narrative The reader of "Pr?frock" is swept up in a narrative movement from the very first lines: Let us go then. Prufrock. being both cases there disconnected one to The same method in "Gerontion" in is employed the reader is specific of for "an old man In the ally told that he has been reading the "thoughts of a dry brain stream-of-consciousness read to by a boy. Talking At come and go a series of more or less isolated this point the poem becomes some dilem each stating emotional aspect of Prufrock's fragments. but even here. and Eliot's early of a new poetic vers de soci?t??witty. but lacking as chosen the touchstone of had Arnold Matthew ousness" which poetic excellence. organized.27. finally arrives at their In the room the women of Michelangelo. out of fashion an entertaining departure the In "Cantos" century. of the poem the rain. because vers de little from and difficulty the grand Waste These soci?t? poems had were fallen considered unusual mainly : there was long as them in accepting nineteenth style of the Land. fragments specific them by referring set of circumstances: the reader can organize situation.228 of SPATIAL FORM IN MODERN LITERATURE a Lady". although the sections of the poem are not governed an the of skeleton by syntactical logic. 5 Sep 2013 14:32:35 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . implied while "Portrait of a Lady. waiting framework. you When the evening." which is a perceptible around can be seemingly This was work were passages reason why Pound's "Mauberly" not as forerunners first regarded.9 on Thu. And mutual the reader. have been clear "The it should This content downloaded from 128." the in a dry season"?the in a dry month. I.197. implied structure is always present. but as latter-day that quality of "high seri a somewhat brittle charm. a on are now and the localized focused but ma." however.

in the modern conception Esthetic that form in modern demands a complete Since language." apply to "The Waste Land. ap and disjunct material reverting Blackmur's remarks equally disjunct material. exegesis wholly conflict be tween and the space-logic the time-logic of language implicit of the nature of poetry. struc in esthetic place on touched only peri comes to Blackmur closest what of he calls Pound's analyzing special form and up another. continually breaking the "Cantos" tie themselves is concerted with mind together." where syntactical sequence of relation under another can another they in is well on the up for a structure depending perception To be properly disconnected between ships word-groups. either by introduc deliberately or by to old and. taken begun at if in still finished. as the Mr. poetry. alluding by which reader's itself. the "Cantos. only for while when this follow is done one and be adequately understood." Black in one place. by modern pherally the central problem "anecdotal" mur method. equally given Pound disconcerts it. was FRANK 229 taking has been P.9 on Thu. is So the disconnectedness. have no comprehensible read consecutively when which.197. the material of ing fresh parently. in one or more other This deliberate to the anecdote places. a radical but this transformation transformation critics. while The R. which of towards group inside the poem is to something itself. can is the internal textual overcome. "is that of explains. this art of off a thing short. 5 Sep 2013 14:32:35 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . their meaning not one difficulty of The ship. continually the method soon poem. one must these word-groups be juxtaposed with stood.JOSEPH that ture. then. perceived simultaneously.27. language is completed the meaning-relationship reflexive: is poetry really in space of word-groups perception only by the simultaneous in time. of the instinctive Instead relation reference of words and word-groups to the objects or events they any word in modern This content downloaded from 128. and immediate to each other. all. does time. re-orientation the primary is based in the reference on a reader's of space-logic attitude they on this relation depend temporal no amount these poems.

physical position simultaneously going the On of each level is a fair index to its spiritual significance. of course. but the dition. analogy sets the scene. existing actually to Pound of poetic form that runs through Mallarm? conception on a traces has left its whole and which of and Eliot.9 on Thu. generation modern can be poets.27. modern asks its readers poetry suspend the entire pat of individual until reference process temporarily a unity.230 SPATIAL FORM IN MODERN LITERATURE of meaning the sequence and the construction from symbolize. to the of these references. the scene?a handles method which Flaubert by comes as well since this call cinematographic. jostling mingling slightly with above the livestock brought the street by a to the exhibition. bombastically level of all. its the and bewildered old Flaubert?of for servant. At sentimental of rhetoric by which Rodolphe to notice it is enough we im the method might present. there is the surging. reference. of reflexive the ments esthetic formulated And only in terms is the with of this principle of modern poetry the principle link connecting similar experi development novel. explanation an state rather than of affairs.197. in the modern 2 For famous a study county of esthetic fair scene form inMadame in the modern Flaubert's novel. is action As Flaubert mediately at the on three and levels. there to mind. mob in the street. and on the highest the spectacle. from tudes . justly praised its portrayal?unusually caricature of bourgeois sym pomposity. are raised platform off reeling platitudes officials. pathetic This scene has been burlesque woos the the pseudo-romantic Emma. is a convenient point Bovary for its mordant of departure. and carrying as those Rodolphe on their the and Emma amorous crowds. can as tern of internal This be references apprehended statement the extreme of an ideal con is. lowest plane. the speech-making to the attentive multi regaling a window overlooking are watching the proceedings as stilted in phrases conversation. has compared Thibaudet Albert This content downloaded from 128. 5 Sep 2013 14:32:35 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .

"4 to ap in time. it is impossible proceeds of up except by breaking simultaneity perception And this is exactly what Flaubert does: he sequence. read phrases of prize winners for to underline this satiric as if he were would not had be ar are as by as well similarity by description. the reflexive relations of the two actions afraid grasped: at rived cinnatus emperors by magnetism.JOSEPH this scene to the medieval FRANK 231 in which various related mystery play. however. spatialization is halted: attention at least. 5 Sep 2013 14:32:35 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Diocletian of China ushering man was attractions "From slow degrees. by the a the For duration the in of novel. as in mod the unit of meaning Flaubert's scene. juxtaposition. In relations the reflexive among only by is not. ern poetry.197. bellowing rhetoric But proach temporal dissolves levels of the of since this sound should Flaubert simultaneously. totality of a word-group each level of or a fragment of an anecdote. "one should hear the in commenting the whisperings of the lovers and the of the cattle." explaining sprang on a small scale. at his plow. the progress scene is given independently relationships of the and the full significance the narrative. but the is action taken as an integer: the unit This content downloaded from 128.9 on Thu. and while M. what we mean illustrates. simultaneously acute comparison intention rather than to his refers to Flaubert's occur method. the time-flow is fixed of the narrative This scene on These of the interplay of relationships are juxtaposed within the limited of time-area." "Everything on this scene. by cutting back and forth between crescendo in a slowly-rising until?at the various the climax sequence of action at almost raising Chateaubriandesque scene?Rodolphe's as the names the same moment Flaubert takes care the best pigs. Rodolphe was le Pr?sident citing Cin and the his cabbages planting the new year with sowing woman the young ex some anterior from to in the young festivals. on different but this actions stage levels. the officials language all at the same time. affinities. units the of meaning.27. that these irresistible istence. later wrote. of form scene.

197. coherent larger unit the unit of meaning and break up only the time this of readers of modern (Because difference. together irony. independently the book fits be if are to believe complete the stages of colors form systems Gilbert. and But applied Flaubert's on method was scale of an a gigantic his novel which of scene. everything practically picture life and the organs of the human body to the of man's are far more structures im but these the spectrum. Un This content downloaded from 128. as Harry portant ever possibly Students of Joyce. while are practically readers to expect narrative the unit of meaning). are led with its within can preserve of meaning. fascinated be for the reader. of Ulysses. have usually applied themselves to exegesis. and finally link with the In other words. them yet with platitude" (Thibaudet) ing interweaving all levels. is skillfully of meaning are apprehended is of minor blended its satiric by flexively.9 on Thu. sequence flow poetry sense. forced of a novel to get any literal reflexively like Nightwood. in itself. as a whole. has remarked. novel. for example. But of language sequence within not affect the parallel in modern between esthetic form can scene: both be and the form of Flaubert's properly stood only when in an their instant units of time. Ultimately. under the from of sun. of references relate to one together connected we a time-sequence and. portance structure narrative after into the main tion. 5 Sep 2013 14:32:35 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . sequence by the deceptive normality this does poetry under re to read of narrative. must these references into any meaningful pattern. than they could Levin for Joyce. Flaubert's interesting although a as to and his novel whole. by his erudition.232 so SPATIAL that the FORM scene IN MODERN read with unawareness LITERATURE an illusion of of complete the "dialectic of large can be a total understanding.27. im back func fulfilling taken over in the Joyce composed and cross-references of the composition number infinite another before James Joyce. by the reader and viewed Stuart these of reference the narrative. devastating in form the towards Pound and Eliot in resulted spatial struggle a few of coherent after but the sequence disappearance lines.

except structure the very and transforms his narrative an instrument Joyce of his esthetic intention. so to are Dubliners. as Flaubert?cutting back and forth between of the same method at the same time?and actions occurring does different usually so to obtain of creating teeming it?through To meet Flaubert narrative the this city. his and readers carries He further implication assumes?what is obviously this than not of existence. form of Joyce's novel. county And. But of simultaneity impression it?or and of maintaining of pages that must Joyce had the problem for the life of a whole rather of strengthening as a sequence. same ironic effect. and in the epic. far beyond what a clear-cut hundreds be read to go this problem. 5 Sep 2013 14:32:35 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . narrative. handiwork. with his usual un complete compromising anyone had true?that Dublin him life rigor. Flaubert Flaubert. This allows information about his char This content downloaded from 128. .197. refined invisible. Joyce dared before. paring the The for Joyce with his fingernails. fact. the artist. while in the county-fair scene. out of existence. of a typical Dublin day. line. to refrain the personal history from giving any direct with acquainted intimately of his characters. lambent breaks up Joyce of his novel into conceived Dedalus Stephen Man y"the and then personality a fluid and epic.JOSEPH such considerations fortunately." epic is thus synonymous of the author. as of the Artist as a Young at first sight a cry or a cadence refines itself . self-effacement and. forced Joyce was Flaubert had maintained had done. as a modern Ulysses tells us in The Portrait of the artist. frequently Joyce. a use as matter of makes ferent places. ceptual most intention obvious Joyce's picture sounds. . impersonalizes remains within the God of creation. Joyce wanted the same sense his depiction simultaneous to have the same unified in dif of activity occurring impact.27. itself. speak or beyond or above finally out like his indifferent. much like had re-created his provincial fair. FRANK have little to do with 233 the per in Ulysses is to give the reader a seen as a whole?to re-create the sights and of Dublin as the people and places.9 on Thu.

and. as he reads modern manner poetry?continually fitting fragments together ence. to build up including all the events all reader's relations enter mind of the their con which and allusions becoming necting aware of the pattern this sense was to be imper of relationships. Joyce does. in the course of casual conversa they are thrown out unexplained tion. knowledge at any one moment of time. it might of the novel. between Bloom and his wife. another the and reader in mind until. the twenty-four hours during In other words.9 on Thu.197. a sense of Dublin the which huge.27. This content downloaded from 128. between as the and Bloom and Dedalus Stephen family?in fragments. or as strata of symbolic in the various they lie embedded to Dublin and the same is true of all the allusions life.234 acters: SPATIAL such FORM IN MODERN would LITERATURE information of an omniscient presence to present the elements Stephen and have betrayed the immediately author. 5 Sep 2013 14:32:35 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . all the factual in an summarized for the reader of from reference. organism. surrounding as a is such It Dubliner possesses which. at hand the For this is what Joyce demands: that the reader the have same knowledge life. and it is only such knowledge which past and present instinctive of Dublin as to place all the ref the reader. is in their proper it should be realized. What is instead. through to read Ulysses the reader is forced in exactly the same result. ceptibly a to wanted the almost be said that Joyce reader become literally Dubliner. times hundreds As a of pages apart. scattered the book. as a totality. he and keeping allusions can link them to their in this way. which the and some fragments. the external novel takes events place. by in the the reflexive refer background?so conveniently be reconstructed novel?must ordinary intended. birthright. gives him a knowledge of Dublin's as a whole. like the characters. at the conclusion acquired. of his narrative?the relations between his family. This. history. enable might erences context. Joyce a sense of Dublin characters consciousness. to one As complements. gradually the novel. cannot be read? that Joyce the equivalent of saying practically same progresses through references spatially.

by reading indirectly. knowledge only are fitted into their proper all the references read. the By writing by translating to the of these experiences transcendent. almost spatial the novelist of time far excellence: considered terpreter that Bergsonian as distinguished from of what intelligence.197. should experiences but. was Obsessed with certain last the ineluctability of time. has. his novel will remains invisible. chronological at this stop however. before it "a form which usually else. it would his novel. In the Since have the a far more same subtle of manner than with is at work and Flaubert.27. a him with by providing technique spiritual him to escape what he considered for transcending time. quality extra-temporal level of esthetic form. reader by this method of composition the may that Joyce. on the the and grasped burdens Although placed seem insuperable. such any part. Proust himself "real the To time" composition all tells us that. obtained unless after book principle Proust himself on imprinted seem strange form of Time. to speak of Proust in been invariably. in his unbelievably laborious fragmenta on the tion of narrative that a structure. to an understanding of can be A FRANK of the whole one the 235 is essential is a Dubliner. the literary in by the sensi of is intuited bility. proceeded assumption work of his would unified be pos spatial apprehension ultimately fact remains sible.9 on Thu. to be time's domination. experiences?de "Le temps visited suddenly by in the in detail scribed retrouv?"?which. point.JOSEPH he can only be re-read. the deepest significance considered of his work. 5 Sep 2013 14:32:35 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . enabled a novel. Proust quasi-mystical volume of his work. when place as a unity. Proust the world?for of reality." it may He connection with form. they seemed not only And to reveal to their nature hoped to him a clue to the ultimate secrets the world a descriptive feel their learn about of these them. through account impact on the sensi bility as Proust himself had felt it. has been knowledge but. This content downloaded from 128. Joyce in Marcel Proust. the conceptual to miss time abstract.

is made in the concluding only explicit narrator at the the final of the describe appearance pages which The of the Princesse reception to dedicate the remainder ences all that in a work of art. on the past. the past came flooding and. to Viewing Proust as the last and most debilitated of a long line of neurasthenic esthetes.236 To first SPATIAL define understand Each FORM IN MODERN LITERATURE the method lation. physical mediacy. For a person this experiencing no "death" longer has meaning. what otherwise of time immobilize he could for not but not abstract. is marked by a feel of had takes things." Proust adds. the in the But and present past. in back to fuse with the present. stimulus. isolate. of his and life The narrator these decides experi from reality to re-creating will will an differ be this work others has because. dead but was as it receives that "the and essence permanent our true self. nourishment celestial consists anew.27. odor. should Proust of some long on fresh to it. usually seemed life is concealed. Proust tells us. and the material so these calls could to his imagination presented im lacked any sensuous therefore.197. the word outside the scope of apprehend. been its foundation. believed reality grasped without Only ?"to flash" ment ideal of the present moment. many have in this decision This content downloaded from 128. at de Guermantes. 5 Sep 2013 14:32:35 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . ing set free one must this is accomplished. time. "Situated the in its pure state." This nourish celestial brought or or other sensory sound. though obscurely significance at throughout the book. not dead the ment "sensed why that in other ways. observes." simultaneously moments them only seem celestial? operate valuable overwhelmingly Proust his Because. imagination. through critics essentially a vision of refracted extra-temporal found perspective. being moments most did he attain his in these seize. at the of sensations certain moments. a that he "real Proust these moments. by which reve nature the the of Proustian precise clearly such experience. But. which awakes." ambition cherished the duration moment. what could he fear from of a lightning a frag "namely: future?" hinted of this experience.9 on Thu.

standards scene. but this somewhat of art?impervious own to Proust's does scarcely interpretation justice a work of art. special intensity expressed a prophetic that he was mission. old friends under is this : in trying to recognize to them. as the final ingenuous in the last volume with conviction. the masks which. occurs during the compels to like the analysis of the revela at the Princesse de reception After completely the narrator He and finds the among in a sanatorium. the years have welded for of time. Wilson. fulfilling not the work of art qua work of art that Proust cared about?his for the horde contempt a work of art which but conquest it was because through of that vision which sonal of time. tion. Guermantes. of all No changes striking friends. almost umes.9 on Thu. When of the passage first time into a consciousness 5 This content downloaded from 128. at some but. According to paint here intended by the upper social and moral doubt to some the socially invasion of and caused the gradual the first World scribed tell us.197. the a bourgeoisie.JOSEPH FRANK 237 step create burdens links suming thing?a a work of of art merely Edmund reality. years losing touch spending the fashionable with world of the earlier vol comes out of seclusion by the to attend changes in character the recep posi per himself even more his bewildered in social and sonality minded French former critics. Proust aristocratic society breakdown War. ordinarily to conquer Proust's ambition time. it is far from being strikes by this process is incidentally de as the narrator takes great pains to the most of the important meaning almost with the force of a blow. 5 Sep 2013 14:32:35 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . of this method. he is jolted as he feels.27. shaped by a method its exact effect. What the narrator. but because and he conveyed his vision which at once concrete the re-experience The prototype tory moment. tion. with up this view that Proust work in his flight from the so discerning. It was of his work. length. of faddish stand his scribblers own work it was the was unbounded? to his per do not simply the vehicle substance reader should This as a monument could some to oppose time by establishing hoped to its flux.

238 SPATIAL FORM IN MODERN LITERATURE the narrator instead of familiar young man addresses respectfully. experienced denly the those time conceals of from versal passage soporific. effects on the in numbers. two with presented it. world. the narrator begins understand. are images time is sud at different not to have the difference say?and to us. Eliot's method phrase. ly an that he has the become him but for gentleman. as if he were an elderly the narrator realizes sud gentleman. In the imperceptible. as to be are so minute "Other changes imperceptible. stream of time back rator he had that he a lapse of years." to ourselves. And this discovery than as a mere gap counted however for close enough together in themselves?perceptibly.197. 5 Sep 2013 14:32:35 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and him. ordinarily at any one moment have gone their accustomed of who ways: juxtaposed. to remove himself first been necessary from his accustomed what amounts that to the same acting on into the stream after found himself environment?and thing. S. then from the to plunge the nar world by as environment?or. cease to change in relation Proust writes. "never places people. that uni its visible effects. which. through Habit.9 on Thu.27. but eternal march of the we regard too them as motionless in a moment of vision. to the visionary of "pure of the fragment tive" apprehension moment. images?the transformed these two formerly now saw before the narrator known the passage of discovers." in relation that they have undergone the displacement By a moment two images the in of these passage time. altered is sweeping two pictures them taken on. denly elderly passage become had To of time had gone unperceived up until that moment. rather sensibility. in the revelatory time" intuited When the narrator discovers this method of communicating This content downloaded from 128. the world. to it conscious of time. comparing in the impact of its visible of time can be experienced concretely. that is to the two pictures between is a measure of off a the narrator with provides is an "objective correla in T. time the short But we them them for us have to perceive the motion that our to in select memory only moments. of time. and when In so doing.

tuted the book in the same reader. Proust presenta And. and to grasp both past and present time. simple soon that Proust vast structure. experience of character?a is done by the discontinuous presentation is the clue to the form of device which. is confronted reader of vision. nevertheless. space.JOSEPH FRANK 239 as we have he decides.27.9 on Thu. they do them has invariably changed stream in the of being submerged be the equivalent in a continuous line with various of present of develop of the snapshots own is placed by the as narrator the position at the reception of the Princesse lives. spatially. in other This de Guermantes. and the reader." obviously. to write has just been the method The and finished that is controlled by in its concluding pages. to incorporate it in a novel. stages in their lives. they turn up again. for Proust. has outlined the narrator is substi words. as the nar of time the the effects of passage exactly experiences Proust does As he had promised. therefore.197. will be fully communicated to of character. 5 Sep 2013 14:32:35 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . they time and when re-appear. Proust experience simultane to above rise sary it. ing a character are last seen and would ment?the progressively. in a moment exactly the passage of time. the nar But the novel and its by the reader. by the discontinuous to juxtapose forces the reader disparate so that a moment in of time. stages of their they appear the time sometimes hundreds of pages go by between the time the passage of Instead way. he meant of but we are now by the promise." taken at different characters "motionless in juxtaposing these images. of his images the characters of time's experience passage This content downloaded from 128. already rator decides form of the revelatory moment. stamp his novel indelibly to understand in a position To with the form what time." But "pure he called of what in a moment "pure ously a moment not at in is perception all?it time is time. for the narrator. of time. author throughout his before occupies his experience said. it was neces learned. rator had done. in some decisive of time?which. reader notices Proust's Every does his not follow novel: but course of the whole any of his characters through various and in re-appear. tion that is to say.

sance along out by Lessing. at this point. a good deal to Albert scene owes Thibaudet's county-fair on the subject. The the best critical study yet written letter is used by Thibaudet and has been from translated This content downloaded from 128. Impressionist instead of mixing canvas. Lessing' own. aberrations of our own time could be traced to a false theory to do with Babbitt's has nothing of spontaneity. thesis. just as the confusion so the artistic a false theory of imitation. the blending of colors gives of us what them The painters them on to the eye be called in a allows Each pure juxtaposed to leave in order the palette. we see that spatial of Proust's labyrinthine [To be concluded in the next masterpiece. E.240 their SPATIAL FORM IN MODERN LITERATURE There is a striking analogy here between Proust's sensibility. will be discussed Mention ringer's ideas in particular. to trace have direct efforts been made Numerous the influence evolution of esthetic called the Germans?by establishing forms?usually style by certain of perception these with various and correlating climates of feeling categories and opinion. of Edwin Muir's should also be made. in the first half of the book merely The of Lessing rein discussion theories. 4This Gustave discussion of the Flaubert. of T. and Babbitt's between forces the analogy Lessing's purpose von Wilhelm und Die Dichtung. wrote Loakoon. probably from Flaubert's quotation his book. of meaning time. Hulme. of his pure views moment of vision" characters?views in various might "motionless view the sensibility of the reader must be aprehended by is only achieved when purpose to each and tural other reflexively the modern scaffolding of their lives?and phases to fuse these views into a unity. the these reader units of as a unit. familiar to English readers these critics. Proust of the spectator. but this method and that of his beloved painters. a veritable in the last few decades. issue"] FOOTNOTES The New with the intention of doing for in 191c. 5 Sep 2013 14:32:35 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Babbitt's modern Lessing Brieflly. perhaps the name most Among is Wilhelm of whose ideas were the into currency many put through Worringer. Dilthey. Structure the only of the Novel. to the present writer?which in English?so to discuss far as is known work attempts in terms of perceptual form in literature categories.27. form As is also and Proust's are referred with the Joyce struc in a moment poets. to in Lessing's of genres thesis was time could be traced that. Babbitt.197. Irving art what had done for the art of his own day. has experienced renais ^German art criticism. Similarly. 38-60. and lectures This whole and Wor critical movement. however. Impressionist comments the far usual the than about goes deeper analogy "impressionism" of Proust's tones on the style. 2Das Erlebnis p. to have the lines marked he seems had no although on these writers.9 on Thu. writings in more detail in a later section.