November 2018 Auction Ends Thursday, November 8th, 5pm Pacific
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/8/2018
Marcel Proust autograph letter signed spanning seven pages, penned while writing his magnum opus, ''In Search of Lost Time'', as indicated in the letter. Proust writes at the end of 1909 to Max Daireaux, a man 13 years his junior whom he had met the year before in Cabourg, France; Cabourg was the inspiration for the resort town of Balbec in Proust's novel. In this letter, Proust comes across as rather animated, clearly conscious of how his words will be interpreted by Daireaux, whom he lightly chastises for not visiting him, and ''wonders why did you never come?'' He also expresses his desire to help Daireaux in his professional literary pursuits. Interesting letter reads in full,

''My dear friend / I finished this year so poorly in all respects, and moreover the novel that I have finally begun so tires out my wrist that I no longer write letters...therefore I can offer myself the luxury of one 'end-of-year letter,' as I know that I will not write more than one. Allow it to be to you. I would like to - without tiring myself out - tell you lots of things. First, this: when you were begged by me to come to dinner and to phone, why did you never come? As much as I may have told you that if I were too unwell I would not receive you, I would never dare to expire without telling you to at least call me if you were there. And nothing came. If that was because you had something to do, you did well; if it was because of indifference, you did well; if it was at your discretion, you did not do well.

So I went, as you certainly know, to Cabourg. And I lived there thinking every day that I would leave the next day, which made it so that I did not dare write you. As it were, I had essential work to do to be able to rest in my room in Paris, and as I wrote to my architect, 'I can return tomorrow,' nothing could be undertaken. Besides, I went there very late, thinking right until I left that I would not go. This was how it happened that the evening before my departure Mr. Parat came by to find out my latest news of coming from Cabourg and returning there and asked if I was going. He was told on my behalf that I was too unwell to receive him and that for the same reason I would not be going to Cabourg this year. I would leave for there the next morning, but I had no idea. He thought that I wanted to hide it from him. Nothing was further from my mind. (I notice that all of this feels like excuses, as if to justify myself to you. Of what? Nothing, and not this either, there is nothing like it in my thoughts; I am only recounting to you the things in my life that have to do with things that you know. And my life is so pathetic and bizarre that every time that I speak of it I appear, indeed, to be apologizing...At Cabourg I did not descend to the boardwalk even once, as my health has significantly deteriorated over the past year. I would get up around 9:30 or 10. In the evening, on the days when I could rise from bed, I would descend to the hotel without coming out to the new casino, where I was immediately latched onto by a certain number of people who with me appeared to represent all the stages of life. For on one side I had a few youngsters and on the other Mr. and Mrs. d'Alton and the [Patclena?]s, Mrs. de [Laupeon?], and Bertrand. I don't know why Cabourg is for me inseparable from two people: Mrs. Mortel and you. You did not come there, Mrs. Mortel came a few days, but did not ask to see me. I had sent her flowers before her arrival. She wrote me a word or two after her departure. I will write a short story out of these events. I would like to hear yours, not your events, your news, in all the meanings of that word. News about those whom you love, your lovely parents (the crossed-out comma does not mean that I added 'lovely' later, I had thought it and omitted it), your sister, your brothers, you. And literary news. I sent the beginning of what I'd done to [Gaston, editor of ''Le Figaro''] Calmette and I have such need of him right now for me (if I was not so tired of it, I would explain why to you, but I feel that my hand is exhausted). It was just that I had an urgent need to avoid undergoing medical exams; each is more tiring than 13 days; I needed one word from him to his brother, a military doctor in Paris, I still prefer to undergo these visits than to ask him, to save it for a literary service that I may ask of him for which I cannot find a publisher. This seems like telling you 'Don't ask anything of me for him.' It's the opposite. It's to tell you that I would prefer to recommend you to anyone other than Figaro, but that I would recommend you to him as well if you were to not find any outlet for your essays. Tell me all this, tell me what, any kind of thing, I could do for you, how your life is if you want nothing of me, and pardon me if my fingers do not tolerate putting off for even a line more the moment when I was going to speak to you of my friendship! / Marcel Proust''

Seven page letter is written in black ink on four sheets of paper, each measuring 5.25'' x 7.125''. Letter has been documented in Kolb's archive of Proust letters, Vol. IX, number 126. Toning to a few pages, and horizontal folds, overall very good plus condition.
Marcel Proust Autograph Letter Signed From 1909 While Writing ''In Search of Lost Time'' -- ''...the novel that I have finally begun so tires out my wrist that I no longer write letters...''Marcel Proust Autograph Letter Signed From 1909 While Writing ''In Search of Lost Time'' -- ''...the novel that I have finally begun so tires out my wrist that I no longer write letters...''Marcel Proust Autograph Letter Signed From 1909 While Writing ''In Search of Lost Time'' -- ''...the novel that I have finally begun so tires out my wrist that I no longer write letters...''Marcel Proust Autograph Letter Signed From 1909 While Writing ''In Search of Lost Time'' -- ''...the novel that I have finally begun so tires out my wrist that I no longer write letters...''
Marcel Proust Autograph Letter Signed From 1909 While Writing ''In Search of Lost Time'' -- ''...the novel that I have finally begun so tires out my wrist that I no longer write letters...''Marcel Proust Autograph Letter Signed From 1909 While Writing ''In Search of Lost Time'' -- ''...the novel that I have finally begun so tires out my wrist that I no longer write letters...''Marcel Proust Autograph Letter Signed From 1909 While Writing ''In Search of Lost Time'' -- ''...the novel that I have finally begun so tires out my wrist that I no longer write letters...''Marcel Proust Autograph Letter Signed From 1909 While Writing ''In Search of Lost Time'' -- ''...the novel that I have finally begun so tires out my wrist that I no longer write letters...''
Marcel Proust Autograph Letter Signed From 1909 While Writing ''In Search of Lost Time'' -- ''...the novel that I have finally begun so tires out my wrist that I no longer write letters...''
Click above for larger image.
Bidding
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $3,750
Final prices include buyers premium.: $4,688
Number Bids: 1
Auction closed on Thursday, November 8, 2018.
Email A Friend
Ask a Question
Have One To Sell

Auction Notepad

 

You may add/edit a note for this item or view the notepad:  

Submit    Delete     View all notepad items