By Lorenza Foschini
“A infrequent and beautifully written ebook of literary detection that's heartbreaking in addition to thrilling.”
—Michael Ondaatje, writer of The English Patient
In the culture of Simon Winchester’s The Professor and the Madman comes Proust’s Overcoat through Lorenza Foschini—the charming, ceaselessly fascinating tale of a collector’s obsessive look for the private results of mythical writer Marcel Proust. This interesting real tale introduces readers to a really pleasant character—Jacques Guérin, proprietor of a body spray corporation in France—and enthralls them along with his relentless lifelong pursuit of all issues Proustian, even the author’s such a lot mundane possessions.
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Additional resources for Proust's Overcoat: The True Story of One Man's Passion for All Things Proust
Years glided by, and with the passage of time, Guérin started to input into Marthe’s strong graces, assisting her financially in the course of the buy of manuscripts nonetheless in her ownership. a nearly affectionate courting constructed among them. Marthe should have been enraged and wounded via the data of the connection among Dr. Adrien Proust and her mom. That affair had led on to her personal marriage to Robert Proust, who, like his father, had additionally come to maintain a mistress. If she had taken the time to learn a few of Marcel’s books earlier than having spurned them, Marthe may need came across the passage within the novel the place the Narrator addresses Dr. Cottard’s infidelity, published to his spouse simply after his demise. Mme Cottard came across correspondence that revealed her husband’s long-standing liaison with Odette de Crécy. The Narrator attempted his top to console Mme Cottard, explaining to her that “from the instant he used to be untrue to you, he took nice care that you'd by no means comprehend, he anxious approximately hurting you, he revered you and consistently most well-liked you. . . . In heaven it's you on my own that he longs to determine back. ” Proust certainly wrote those strains considering his mom, yet with neither the tradition nor the refinement of his mom, his sister-in-law may nonetheless have came upon convenience in them. Marthe used to be beset by means of familial grief and dire fiscal straits. She by no means understood, she might by no means fathom, the increased stature held through her brother-in-law on the planet of letters. She couldn't convey herself to learn looking for misplaced Time. What mattered to her used to be to take away all hint of indecency at risk of divulge the relations identify to disgrace and shame. during this spirit of vengeance, Marcel Proust’s love letters have been destroyed, in addition to reams of his worldly correspondence, and so much egregiously, innumerable drafts and dealing notes for his nice masterwork. within the nick of time, Guérin had seemed and controlled to avoid wasting many helpful treasures, together with the 13 notebooks Robert Proust by no means surrendered to Marcel’s publishers, as soon as feared lacking. those books contained diversifications of the ultimate sections of looking for misplaced Time, which Proust wrote and rewrote greater than ten occasions. (When Guérin finally bought those notebooks to the Bibliothèque Nationale, a definitive version of the unconventional was once ultimately learned, the myriad diversifications showing in voluminous appendices. ) Many letters have been kept from destruction, but in addition the 1st variation of Swann’s method, released in 1913 by means of Grasset, corrected in Proust’s hand, which Christie’s bought for a dizzying sum in London on June 7, 2000. the sentiments of disdain Guérin used to harbor for Marthe steadily subdued through the years. Reassured of her reliable religion, he started to pay social calls on her. The workings of her middle remained impenetrable, yet finally a definite belief used to be verified among them. Guérin, habitually curious, discovered that Marthe’s daughter used to be the first concentration of her nervousness. Marthe confessed to him that she chanced on Suzy chilly and unforgiving together with her.