The views of Freud, Proust and Lacan are depicted through this staging of a series of provocative dialogues between psychological science and imaginative literature of the twentieth century.
'The best written English-language treatment of Lacan in recent years is that found at the end of Malcolm Bowie's Freud, Proust and Lacan: theory as fiction. Although he is thoroughly conversant with the architectonics of Lacan's thought, professor Bowie's achievement is above all in the order of what used to be called new-critical close reading. He has an ear - or eye - for the sumptuousness, high buffoonery, asymmetry and indecorousness of Lacan's prose, and succeeds admirably in conveying them.' Jeffrey Mehlman, The Times Literary Supplement 'Bowie is at his superb best when engaging his talents as a literary critic. Ranging from the myth of Diana and Actaeon to Freudian images of theory and Proust's descriptions of Venetian paintings, Bowie's subtle and richly elaborated readings are always attentive to formal structure and tone as well as to thematic tensions. These essays confirm his place as one of the outstanding critics working in French today.' Toril Moi, French Studies 'Dans son introduction, Malcolm Bowie s'inquiete: comment sauver le discours des sciences humaines se la redondance ou du bavardage? Eh bien, tout simplement en suivant son exemple, c'est-...-dire en alliant une culture d'une richesse exceptionnelle ... une ironie cinglante et ... un gout margue pour les controverses.' Roland Jaccard, Le Monde 'Rares sont les essais critiques qui rivalisent en beaute avec les textes qu'ils etudient. Le recuril de Malcolm Bowie est de ceux-l... Grand maitre de la langue anglaise, Bowie a l'avantage de denicher des aspects souvent laisses de cotes, parfois de maniere symptomatique, concernant les trois auteurs dont il traite. Il reste un des seuls critiques anglophones de Lacan dont on puisse conseille la lecture au public francais.' Bruce Fink, L'Ane 'As an exploration of the affinities of theory and fiction, this book is a brilliant and lucid, often provocative, investigation of the intersections of literature and psychoanalysis, text and desire. On this important subject it is full of stimulating insights and incitements to further reflection. It is a model of critical intelligence.' Ross Chambers, University of Michigan 'Professor Bowie's perspicious triangulation of the works of Freud, Proust, and Lacan yields fascinating insights into the thought of each - and provocative, though appropriately qualified, speculations regarding the relations among 'theory', 'fiction', and 'perception' in their respective efforts to map the terrain of human consciousness. This book should be welcomed by critics, theorists, and historians of literature and culture alike.' Hayden White, University of California, Santa Cruz