Jonathan Warren. “The Lessons of the Living Dead: Marcel’s Journey from Balbec to Douville-Féterne in Proust’s Cities of the Plain: Part Two”. Studies in 20th Century Literature Volume 19, Number 2, Summer 1995.
I am grateful to François Lachance who first suggested the alignment of Lot’s wife and Kristevan statuary character to me.
How I did so involved a wee bit of mischief. I was one of the translators of Julia Kristeva’s lectures for the Special Seminar in Comparative Literature: Proust and Perceptible Time held at the Centre for Comparative Literature, University of Toronto, in 1992. I dutifully translated but added a running set of footers (very easy to do in a document-centred program like Wordperfect; less so in a page-centred program like Microsoft Word). Sometime later I published those running footers as lines in a poem called Metropole in Tracking the Remembrance of Touch. The lines reference Lot’s wife as “but a pile / of dysfunctional electrolytes / the unnamed wife” and make of her a forerunner of Antigone who also is not named in the poem. The poem also plays with the notion of foreclosure. As I recall Jonathan was a student in the seminar and liked the trick with the footers and he very kindly sent me an autographed off-print of his article which has surfaced among my Proust books and led me to recall those days of the early 90s where and when we worked the interstices.
And so for day 1183