In-Between Proust and Neuroscience

Kandel’s In Search of Memory

  • Christiane Struth
Mots-clés: Kandel, autobiography, ethos, neuroscience


In his autobiography allusive of Marcel Proust’s literary autobiography À la recherche du temps perdu, Kandel describes and explores his own development as a molecular scientist who started out as a student of history and psychoanalysis with more than just a penchant for literature. Despite his conversion to neuroscience, which is told in great detail, Kandel’s motives in studying the brain are informed mainly by humanist ideals and episodes from his personal past. The author creates an image of himself as a scientist who is guided in his molecular research by both his good intuitions and received theories from the humanities. Hence, the aim of the present paper is to show how the author succeeds in modelling his scientific ethos at the interface of the humanities and the natural sciences and in what ways he generates a public image of himself as a ‘self-made man’ or, rather, scientist.

Biographie de l'auteur

Christiane Struth

International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC), Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Germany