Robbie Kubala on Desire Satisfaction in Proust

Robbie Kubala
Wed January 20th 2021, 6:00 - 7:30pm PST
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Philosophy and Literature at Stanford
Robbie Kubala on Desire Satisfaction in Proust

Proust’s thoughts on desire satisfaction can be summed up in one word: don’t. Don’t satisfy your desires; doing so will invariably fail to satisfy you. Should you therefore seek to eliminate desire? Absolutely not: desiring itself sustains you. The disappointment of attaining what you desire is one of Proust’s most persistent themes, elaborated in the florid intricacies of the Recherche but already expressed succinctly in an early story from Pleasures and Days, written when he was only 18: “Desire makes all things blossom; possession wilts them." If you believed this, what should you do? Best to aim not to satisfy your desires at all. This paper is a development and limited defense of these baldly stated claims. 

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