10 July 2017 Susannah

Marcel Proust – French novelist born on 10 July 1871

Marcel Proust quote by Susannah Fullerton

HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Marcel Proust, born 10 July 1871

“If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less but to dream more, to dream all the time.”

Marcel Proust 1900

Marcel Proust 1900

Proust’s In Search of Lost Time (also known as Remembrance of Things Past) is one of those novels that everyone has heard of and intended to read, but which people rarely get around to actually reading. A few years ago I finally managed to read it all. It is certainly not a light or easy read, but it really does repay the effort you put in. I was so happy to have read it, and felt hugely enriched by the experience. Proust takes you on so many journeys into the world of music, art, French society, history and travel, and his characters (many of whom are based on real people) are memorable.

On my literary tour of Northern France we spend a day in Proust country, at Illiers-Combray. The town was originally just called Illiers, but the extra name was added because the town is named Combray in Proust’s novel – quite a compliment from the town! We visited Tante Leonie’s house, where the famous madeleine-eating scene occurs, we visited the delightful Pre-Catalan garden created by Proust’s uncle and where he played as a boy and which he uses as the setting for the famous hawthorn description in his novel, and we saw nearby chateaus which he gives to his characters to live in.

You may like to try Proust’s Overcoat by Lorenza Foschini, or Murder Chez Proust by Estelle Monbrun, in which the President of the Proust Society gets killed.

Marcel Proust died on 18 November 1922 at age 51.

Have you read In Search of Lost Time or Proust’s Overcoat? Tell me in the comment area below.

  Susannah Fullerton: How long should a work of fiction be?
  Susannah Fullerton: Great works on your ‘to read’ list
   In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
   Proust’s Overcoat by Lorenza Foschini
   Murder Chez Proust: A Mystery by Estelle Monbrun, David Martyn (Translated by)
   LibriVox: Marcel Proust In Search of Lost Time (Swan’s Way)

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Body image credit- Marcel Proust in 1900 by Otto Wegener, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=131862380

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