Regarding Lost Time
Photography, Identity, and Affect in Proust, Benjamin, and Barthes
Legenda: Oxford, 2012
What is autobiography and how does it transform in the age of technological reproducibility? Katja Haustein discusses this question as it relates to photography and the role of emotions in Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time (1909-22), Walter Benjamin’s Berlin Childhood around 1900 (1932-38), and Roland Barthes’s Roland Barthes (1977) and Camera Lucida (1980). In this first book-length comparative analysis of these authors, Haustein maps their most famous works against little-studied material, some of which has only recently become available: seminar manuscripts such as Barthes’s La Préparation du roman (1978-80), radio recordings, letters and diaries. In this way her study opens new avenues in scholarship on three eminent twentieth-century writers and contributes to a new field of enquiry: the history of autobiography in the light of a history of looking.
Katja Haustein is British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Modern Languages at Churchill College, Cambridge.