Information about the author:
Ekaterina M. Belavina
Ekaterina M. Belavina, PhD in Philology, Associate Professor, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Leninskie Gory, 1, 119991 Moscow, Russia.
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4038-7815
Music and hearing played an important role in the lives of Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) and Marcel Proust (1871–1922), both writers were particularly sensitive to human speech, the sound of the voice. Their one meeting in Paris was not the start of a friendship or a correspondence, but it did not go unnoticed: Oscar Wilde became one of the prototypes of Baron Charlus in the novel “A la Recherche du temps perdu”. Both Wilde and Proust admired John Ruskin, especially his voice. Both begin by publishing poems in which the work of the auditory imagination is most prominent. The evolution of the auditory imagination of both authors is examined in this article in terms of image-building strategies that engage different channels of perception, particularly the auditory. The mechanisms of language continue to operate in the auditory imagination, and it is here that the rhythmic and the acoustic (physiological) come into contact with semantics. Oscar Wilde’s prose is characterised by a combination of images of different perceptual modalities (auditory, visual, kinaesthetic). This transcoding allows you to structure impressions and capture a wider audience of readers, regardless of their prevailing modality of perception. In Marcel Proust’s novel, synesthesia, construction of images that include two or more different modalities, has become a hallmark of his writing style, whose distinctive elements are extended metaphor and metonymy.