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James Brandon Pelcher

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(Johns Hopkins University)

Fellow of the DHC, May - July 2012

Involuntary  αληθεια: Forgetting and Oblivion in Heidegger and Proust

Heidegger begins Sein und Zeit with: "Die genannte Frage [nach dem Sein] ist heute in Vergessenheit gekommen." However, a theoretical treatment of forgetting/oblivion remains inconspicuous throughout the remainder of Sein und Zeit. Where might we look to clarify Heidegger’s thoughts on Vergessen(heit)? Walter Benjamin suggested that the theoretical answer might lie in Proust’s mémoire involontaire. Through close readings of Heidegger’s work, focusing on Sein und Zeit and his Presocratic lectures, as well as Proust’s La Recherche and Sainte-Beuve, my paper will show connections between Heideggerian αληθεια  and Proust’s mémoire involontaire, as well as, Heideggerian tradition and Proust’s mémoire volontaire.