Arnaud Mentré, Consul General of France in Boston, will be hosting an event organized by Friends of IHES on Wednesday June 23, 2022 starting at 5.00 pm, at the Residence of France (194 Brattle Street – Cambridge MA 02138).
On this occasion, Thibault Damour, permanent professor at IHES, will give a talk entitled “Proust and Einstein: in Search of Time”.
As we are commemorating the centenary of Marcel Proust’s passing, Thibault Damour will discuss the commonalities between the idea of Time underlying Marcel Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time), and the conception of Time suggested by Albert Einstein’s relativity theories.
In a letter from December 1921 to a physicist friend, Proust wrote: “How I would love to speak to you about Einstein! Although it has indeed been written to me that I derive from him, or he from me, I do not understand a single word of his theories, not knowing algebra. And I doubt for my part that he has read my novels. It seems we have analogous ways of deforming Time.”
The conference will emphasize how both the novelist and the physicist held the view that the flow of time is an illusion.
The talk will be followed by a cocktail.
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