The Proustian identity of La grande bellezza

  • Enrico Palma


There is no doubt that in Sorrentino’s La grande bellezza the presence of the Recherche is not only strong and constant, but also crucial to undertake an interpretative path aimed at a profound understanding of the film. Proust’s name is frequently evoked, and the Proustian reader will see some expressions, jokes and episodes in the movie as very evident crypto-citations and references. So much so as to lead one to believe that the Proustian theory of redemption of lost/wasted time through the acquisition of the literary vocation is central to the structure and conceptualization of Sorrentino’s work. The essay therefore intends to articulate an interpretative proposal that analyzes the Proustian substrate, bringing out the analogies and the congruences between the figures of the Proustian Narrator and that of Jep Gambardella. At the same time, as a flip side of the essay, an attempt will be made to build a hermeneutic hypothesis of the film, while guided by Proust, so that the two works can represent interpretative spotlights that focus on each other. In fact, the underlying hypothesis is that the deepest structure of La grande bellezza is precisely the Proustian one.

How to Cite
Palma, E. (2020). The Proustian identity of La grande bellezza. E|C, (33), 196-206. Retrieved from