BIOGRAPHY MARCEL PROUST – Novelist and poet, Marcel Proust treats those around Parisian salons with irony and emotion. His main work “In Search of Lost Time” comprises seven volumes.
Since its premature end, the literary legacy left by Marcel Proust fascinates. The native of the Auteuil district is still today one of the most studied French authors, even internationally. An emblematic figure of Parisian worldliness at the start of the 20th century, his numerous reflections on the relationship to time, love and even the society of his time have revolutionized the codes of the romantic genre. We invite you to come back to his major work, In Search of Lost Time, but also on his own introspection concerning his homosexuality.
Born July 10, 1871 in the Auteuil district of Paris, into a wealthy family, Marcel Proust grew up with respiratory problems. Very young, he rubbed shoulders with writers and other artists in aristocratic salons, which awakened in him a great interest in writing. In 1894, he published a collection of poems, “The Pleasures and the Days”. It was in 1907 that the young writer began writing his novel. The first volume, entitled “On the side of Swann’s “, was published in 1913. In 1919, Marcel Proust obtained the Goncourt price for his book “In the shade of young girls in bloom”. The other five volumes were published between 1919 and 1927: “Le Côté de Guermantes”, “Sodome et Gomorrhe”, “La Prisonnière”, “Albertine disparue” and finally “Le Temps regained”. These seven books form his main work: “In Search of Lost Time“.
“In Search of Lost Time” is a kind of social theater where mingle sentimental reflections and affective memory outside any literary movement. It is from this work that the expression “madeleine of Proust” : this is something that takes a person back to his childhood as the smell of madeleines did for the author. Marcel Proust is also one of the first great European novelists to deal with the theme ofhomosexuality in his works. Through the descriptions of Parisian salons, often accompanied by a hint ofirony, he painted the picture of his time, often drawing inspiration for his characters from real people. Proustian writing is characterized by long sentences who constantly seek to reach a reality which seems to escape. Marcel Proust died on November 18, 1922 following bronchitis. He is buried in the Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris.
Marcel Proust has always addressed many themes in all of his literary works. But one of them seems to come back almost systematically: that of homosexuality. Proust is one of the first authors in France to lift the taboo on love between people of the same sex, himself repeatedly admitting to being torn by his own feelings. Never having been married, the young man suffered during his childhood from not being able to declare his love to Marie de Benardaky. Later in his twenties, he began a relationship with the composer Reynaldo hahn. In several volumes of In Search of Lost Time, Proust brings in, as narrator, many characters who have had homosexual adventures. His perception of this sexual orientation is, unlike his friend André Gide, much more nuanced (at least in his books where he sometimes struggles to put words on it), homosexuality being only very little tolerated in the mundane environment to which it belongs.
- July 10, 1871: Birth of Marcel Proust
- French writer Marcel Proust was born in Auteuil. In his seven-volume autobiography, In Search of Lost Time (1908-1922), he exposes himself with a keen sense of narcissism (and staging) on the procrastination of idle life, rich in anecdotal details, aesthetic considerations and worldly relationships. Probably homosexual, he never recovered from the loss of his friend Albertine, whom he intended to marry. In fragile health, Proust died in Paris on November 18, 1922, of a stubborn bronchitis.
- November 14, 1913: Proust publishes the first volume of “In search of lost time
- Marcel Proust publishes on his own account “Du cote de chez Swann”. This novel is the first in a series of seven volumes. The complete work was completed 17 years later and took the name “In Search of Lost Time”. It is the longest novel in the French language.
- November 18, 1922: Death of Marcel Proust
- Marcel Proust was born on July 10, 1871 in Paris. Writer, he won the Goncourt Prize in 1919 for “In the shade of young girls in bloom”. His most famous work is undoubtedly “In search of lost time” and his famous madeleine, a reflection on the passage of time, written in 1913. Proust makes famous an English personality game which will take his name, “the Proust’s QuestionnairePopularized by Bernard Pivot, the questionnaire has since been reused in the American program Inside the Actors’ Studio. Marcel Proust died on November 18, 1922 in Paris.