Abstract / Description of output
This chapter focuses on a hitherto neglected aspect of Paolo Sorrentino’s La Grande Bellezza (2013): its sustained intermedial dialogue with one of the masterpieces of literary modernism, Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time (1913-1927). If, at first glance, Sorrentino’s garish portrayal of Rome’s bella gente in the wake of the Berlusconi era seems to have little in common with Proust’s vast fresco of French life from the Belle Epoque to World War I and beyond, closer analysis reveals an intricate web of relations between the two works, manifested not only at the level of citations and themes, but also in the film’s narrative structure and self-reflexive aesthetic. A postmodern heir to both Fellini, to whom he is often compared, and the modernist Proust, I argue, Sorrentino’s film resonates with seminal Proustian preoccupations, most notably the conflict between mondanité and artistic vocation, the recovery of lost time through involuntary memory, and the interrogation of what constitutes genuine originality in the arts.
|Title of host publication
|Labours of Attention
|Subtitle of host publication
|Work, Class and Society in French and Francophone Literature and Culture: Essays for Edward J. Hughes
|Legenda/Modern Humanities Research Association
|Published - 13 Sept 2022