By Robert Fraser
In 1899 Marcel Proust learn a translation of Ruskin's The Lamp of reminiscence in a Belgian journal. Fourteen years later he back-projected the event onto the narrator of Du cote de chez Swann who describes himself as a boy analyzing the self-same piece within the backyard at Combray. In among lay a interval of intermittent enthusiasm for Victorian writing: a interval which observed the refurbishment of Proust's process and a basic rethinking of his perspectives. a lot of this reassessment used to be accomplished with regards to English writers whom Proust followed, absorbed after which as usually as now not discarded. the outcome was once to let him to move from one aesthetic to a different. it's the competition of this publication that the clue to this procedure are available not just in Proust's evolving perspectives on reminiscence and time but additionally in his development via a three-fold typology of shape: from 'mimetic shape' (art-imitating-the-real) via 'mnemonic shape' (art-imitating-memory) to 'abstract shape' (art-imitating-itself). The growth from one to a different is illustrated via Proust's reactions to Carlyle, Darwin, Emerson, Ruskin, George Eliot, Hardy, Stevenson, Wells and Wilde. there's additionally a bankruptcy at the connection in Proust's brain among literary and artwork feedback and his behind schedule reaction to the Ruskin-Whistler trial of 1878. a last bankruptcy relates those concerns to the present debate as to the parallel among the 19th century fin-de-siecle and our own.