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By Lorenza Foschini

“A infrequent and fantastically written e-book 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 by means of Lorenza Foschini—the charming, eternally interesting tale of a collector’s obsessive look for the non-public results of mythical writer Marcel Proust. This interesting real tale introduces readers to a very pleasant character—Jacques Guérin, proprietor of a fragrance corporation in France—and enthralls them together with his relentless lifelong pursuit of all issues Proustian, even the author’s so much mundane possessions.

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The house will be thoroughly cleared out in an issue of hours and no matter what was once now not spoken for he may haul off to a showroom of Drouot’s, the auctioneers, that may take any form of item that got here in. For the second one time in his existence, Guérin came upon himself making his technique to the home of Robert Proust, this time with a flippant salesman sitting casually beside him within the Buick. As he drove, he considered his first assembly with Marthe Dubois-Amiot, Robert’s spouse, now his widow—the girl who was once in this type of hurry to do away with the furnishings he had simply acquired from Werner. that they had been brought as soon as at a proper get together in honor of her husband, an occasion coincidentally hosted by means of a member of Guérin’s . That party additionally marked the final time he observed the illustrious healthcare professional. The dinner had taken position quite a few months after Guérin’s first stopover at to Robert’s condo on road Hoche. From 1921 to 1926, Robert Proust have been director of the Tenon clinic, one of many ideal radiotherapy facilities in Paris, focusing on tumor examine. by the point of this testimonial dinner in 1929, he was once the top of a personal melanoma learn beginning. At fifty-six, a goodly age for the interval, he was once a majestic guy, tall and strong. His face resembled his brother’s, yet used to be rounder; his unhappy eyes have been much less magnetic; his mustache was once much less fastidious. He continually looked to be shouldering a weight, and this made him look heavier than he particularly was once. while his brother died in 1922, Robert Proust had inherited, in addition to such a lot every little thing else, all of the manuscripts that have been present in Marcel’s final house on rue Hamelin. The doctor’s duties as employees oncologist and leader general practitioner at one among Paris’s biggest hospitals absorbed him thoroughly, but from the day of his brother’s demise he had additionally assigned himself the tremendous tricky and hugely technical activity of getting ready the final volumes of looking for misplaced Time for posthumous e-book. during this activity, he needed to paintings in shut collaboration with an article group from Marcel’s publishers, los angeles Nouvelle Revue Française, below the path of Jacques Rivière. as well as having been a depended on good friend, Rivière used to be additionally professionally sure to Proust in a operating dating that persevered via to the writer’s final days. Rivière had overseen the ebook of the 1st volumes of the unconventional and Marcel had charged him to put up his entire notebooks “in case of unpleasant occasions. ” however the notebooks remained the valuables of Robert Proust, who retained the booklet rights. initially, the collaboration used to be courteous, approximately affectionate, however the honeymoon was once short-lived. The doctor’s advanced character made any user-friendly conversation approximately most unlikely. He should be fierce or simply angry, prudent or tremendous conceited. regularly he was once steadfast in regards to the correctness of his personal judgment. the ultimate 3 volumes of looking for misplaced Time no longer released in Marcel Proust’s lifetime—The Captive, The Fugitive, Time Regained—were edited lower than the iron will of Robert Proust, who silently and inexorably tried to impose a scarcity of any discrepancies within the unpublished texts.

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