La marquise d’Hervey de Saint-Denys dans la Recherche: une tromperie mondaine sous le changement onomastique?
This contribution focuses on the names of a marginal character of Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu. In Sodome et Gomorrhe, the hero meets the Princesse d’Orvillers; in Le Temps retrouvé, the same character is named Princesse de Nassau. I will first address the analogies between the fictional figure and the real-life inspiration, the Marquise d’Hervey. In order to outline the princess’ personality, I will investigate the textual genesis of the episodes in which this character appears. The combined analysis of extradiegetic and intradiegetic portraits of the marquise/princess will show that the variation in her surname is related to historical and fictional issues.