January 2019 Auction Ends Thursday, January 31st, 5pm Pacific

Category

Search By:
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 1/31/2019
Marcel Proust autograph letter twice-signed, written sometime after June 1913 to Max Daireaux, a man whom Proust had met in 1908 in Cabourg, France; Cabourg was the inspiration for the resort town of Balbec in Proust's novel ''In Search of Lost Time''. In this humorous letter signed both ''Marcel'' at the conclusion and ''Marcel Proust'' within, Proust praises his friend's literary prowess, and reminisces about his home town and his ancestors whose names populate the streets. Letter reads in full,

''My dear friend / Your letter brought me great joy with the so very tender things you told me at the beginning, and the rest of it was quite interesting and useful. It's lovely to think that your elegiac and poetic gifts, your absolutely unique style as an ironic writer and painter of characters, are supplemented by this scientific mind. Homo triplex. I told you that I could have more interest in what you write than in my book. And you prove to me that you understood me by also taking time away from yourself to do something for me.

My (relative) indifference to myself also manifests itself in this: I never retain anything from when others make fools of themselves, and carefully store instances that I observe in myself. As such, in the book that you will receive, there is only (in the second volume) one 'silly utterance' cited, and I was the one who said it, at your place. The other day, flipping through a volume on the small town where we come from, where one street bears my father's name, another bears that of my uncle, where the public gardens are named after my uncle, etc., I was reading the names of the most humbly employed Marcel Prousts, the clerks and vicars and bailiffs of the 14th-17th centuries; I was thinking of these distant ancestors not without a certain tenderness, when all of a sudden a magnificently stupid utterance, such as one the characters of my second volume may have needed, resurfaced in my memory for the first time. It was five years ago, at the home of your parents, who had lovingly welcomed me, in Caborg. Your father asked me, 'What province are you from originally?' And I answered, 'From Eure-et-Loir.' 'That is a department,' your father responded with an involuntary cruelty. My only excuse is that this small town, perhaps the only such town in France, rests one neighborhood in Beauce and another in Perche. I stood there petrified, like the little boy in Le Livre de mon ami who says 'Hello sir' to the lady he loves.

Dear friend, I chat like this with you to show you that I can admire others and make fun of myself. But my strength betrays me, I take my leave of you with thanks, embracing you with all my heart; I promise myself a great joy in reading your book and I will write to you as soon as I have read it / Your Marcel''.

Four page letter is written in black ink on bifolium, card-style stationery measuring 10.5'' x 7'' unfolded. Letter has been documented in Kolb's archive of Proust letters, Vol. XII, number 93. Light toning and wear, and horizontal fold, overall very good plus condition. With full translation. Lot is also accompanied by a letter by Max Daireaux, and dozens of pages of Daireaux's writings in French.
Marcel Proust Autograph Letter Twice-Signed -- ''...your absolutely unique style as an ironic writer and painter of characters...''Marcel Proust Autograph Letter Twice-Signed -- ''...your absolutely unique style as an ironic writer and painter of characters...''Marcel Proust Autograph Letter Twice-Signed -- ''...your absolutely unique style as an ironic writer and painter of characters...''Marcel Proust Autograph Letter Twice-Signed -- ''...your absolutely unique style as an ironic writer and painter of characters...''
Marcel Proust Autograph Letter Twice-Signed -- ''...your absolutely unique style as an ironic writer and painter of characters...''
Click above for larger image.
Bidding
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $3,500
Number Bids: 0

This item is available for purchase at the minimum bid amount plus 25% buyer's premium.

If interested please call us at 310-440-2982 or buy it online here:
$3,500
Auction closed on Thursday, January 31, 2019.
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