Publication details [#14171]

Wasser, Audrey. 2014. Hyperbole in Proust. Modern language notes 129 (4) : 829–854. 26 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press


This paper discusses the crucial role of hyperbole in Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu. This rhetorical device flourishes in Proust’s narrative whose main feature is excess. Hyperbole is also considered by the scholar as an element of differentiation, i.e. a feature that expresses and structures differences in narration. Wasser here analyses two key passages of the earlier volumes of the Recherche because they particularly abound in the use of hyperbole and exaggeration. The first one is considered by the scholar as one of the most difficult passages to read because of the close relation between Proust and his writing. It concerns the young narrator’s description of the steeples and towers of Martinville. In the second passage, the narrator is about to leave Paris for Balbec and the author compares this trip to the crucifixion of Christ.