(second meaning)." He also explains his use of a term generally unfamiliar in America but used frequently in this book: "With the same meaning ["story"!, I will also use the term diegesis; which comes to us from the theoreticians of cinematographic narrative."
28 Narrative Discourse devoted to that text. Such a resource is not available to someone interested in either the events recounted by the narrative that the Recherche du temps perdu constitutes or the narrating act from which it arises: no document external to the Recherche, and par-ticularly not a good biography of Marcel Proust, if one existed,3 could teach us about either those events or that act, since both of these are fictional and both set on stage, not Marcel Proust, but the hero and supposed narrator of his novel. 1 do not mean to suggest that the narrative content of the Recherche has no con-nection with the life of its author, but simply that this connec-tion is not such that the latter can be used for a rigorous analysis of the former (any more than the reverse). As to the narrating that produced the narrative, the act of Marcel4 recounting his past life, we will be careful from this point on not to confuse it with the act of Proust writing the Recherche du temps perdU. I will come back to this subject later; it is enough for the time being to remember that the 521 pages of Du cote de chez Swann (Grasset edition) published in November 1913 and written by Proust some years before that date are supposed (in the present state of the fiction) to have been written by the narrator well after the war. It is thus the narrative, and that alone, that informs us here both of the events that it recounts and of the activity that sup-posedly gave birth to it. In other words, our knowledge of the two (the events and the action of writing) must be indirect, unavoidably mediated by the narrative discourse, inasmuch as the events are the very subject of that discourse and the activity of writing leaves in it traces, signs or indices that we can pick up and interpret-traces such as the presence of a first-person pro-noun to mark the oneness of character and narrator, or a verb in the past tense to indicate that a recounted action occurred prior to the narrating action, not to mention more direct and more J The bad ones present no inconvenience here, since their main defect consists of coolly attributing to Proust what Proust says of Marcel, to II1iers what he says of Combray, to Cobourg what he says of Balbec, and so on-a technique debat-able in itself, but not dangerous for us: except for the names, such books never step outside the Recherche. 4 Here, to refer to both the hero and the narrator of the Recherche, we are keeping this controversial Christian name. I will explain this in the last chapter.