An autograph letter signed 'Marcel' to Maria Madrazo, sister of composer Reynaldo Hahn, Proust's intimate friend and sometime lover. Marcel PROUST, French novelist.
An autograph letter signed 'Marcel' to Maria Madrazo, sister of composer Reynaldo Hahn, Proust's intimate friend and sometime lover
An autograph letter signed 'Marcel' to Maria Madrazo, sister of composer Reynaldo Hahn, Proust's intimate friend and sometime lover
An autograph letter signed 'Marcel' to Maria Madrazo, sister of composer Reynaldo Hahn, Proust's intimate friend and sometime lover
An autograph letter signed 'Marcel' to Maria Madrazo, sister of composer Reynaldo Hahn, Proust's intimate friend and sometime lover
An autograph letter signed 'Marcel' to Maria Madrazo, sister of composer Reynaldo Hahn, Proust's intimate friend and sometime lover

An autograph letter signed 'Marcel' to Maria Madrazo, sister of composer Reynaldo Hahn, Proust's intimate friend and sometime lover

Small octavo, 4 pages (a bifolium); undated, but the indistinct postmarks on the cover suggest 19 January 1915.

Folded for posting; very faint uneven browning to the first page; essentially in fine condition, complete with the original envelope (addressed in another hand).

Proust writes to persuade his 'Chère amie' that his financial troubles (apparently mentioned in an earlier letter) are transitory and that he is horrified that she believed he was asking to borrow money. The following quote is just a sample; there's a lot more in the same vein! 'C'est peut-être aussi parce que j'ai si intimement en moi l'idée de mourir plutôt que d'emprunter de l'argent à mes amis, que je leur parle si franchement de mes soucis financiers, ce que je ne ferais pas s'ils n'étaient pas entièrement persuadés qu'ils ne peuvent rien m'offrir. Ceci dit chère amie, ai-je besoin de vous dire avec quelle émotion j'ai vu cette marque de votre admirable coeur que je connais ... Et Reynaldo n'exagérait pas quand il disait l'an dernier ma soeur est un Ange. Donc croyez moi éperdument reconnaissant, infiniment ému, et attendri, mais ne me proposez de choses dont la seule pensée me fait frémir d'une Horreur sans nom. De tout mon coeur qui vous admire et qui vous aime, votre frère adopté et non "tapeur" [sponger]. Marcel'.

Proust was exempted from military service due to chronic ill health, and remained in Paris for most of the First World War. His mother's death in 1905 had brought a complete change to his existence. 'Without her protective care and understanding the sensitive invalid withdrew into the seclusion of a cork-lined flat and devoted himself for the rest of his life to writing seven novels (3,300 printed pages in total; 1,240,000 words) which bear the collective title "À la recherche du temps perdu".... [It] describes events (estimated as 182 days) between 1877 and 1925 (a projection, three years after Proust's death), but providing a panoramic view of French society, especially in the decade 1892-1902, "la belle époque", during the Third French Republic, seen through the eyes of a social climber, a heterosexual and non-Jew, not Proust himself'. An English translation by C.K. Scott Moncrieff was published 'between 1922 and 1931, under the Biblical and Shakespearean title "Remembrance of Things Past". Since the 1992 revision, based on a corrected French text, the title "In Search of Lost Time" (less poetic but closer to Proust's own title) has been used. Although he was never even nominated for the Nobel Prize, by the year 2000 Proust was often identified in surveys as the greatest novelist of the 20th century' ('Dictionary of World Biography').

Provenance: Collection of The Hon Barry Jones AC.

Item #115592

Price: $15,000.00

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